10% spike in no. of motorists driving without driving licence in City

There is a rise in incidence of motorists driving without a valid licence in the city, show Bengaluru Traffic Police records. The number of cases rose from 89,670 in 2016 to 92,549 in 2017 and about 1 lakh till October this year.

The spike is attributed to under-age driving and drunk drivers claiming they have no licence, when caught. In some cases, licences were suspended for traffic violations, motorists forgot to renew lapsed licences or carry them, or had misplaced them. “We’ve decided to intensify driving licence checks. There are several instances of motorists claiming they don’t have a licence, especially when they are caught for drunk driving,” said a senior traffic police official.

The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016, proposes to hike the fine for driving without a licence from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000. Motor vehicle rules ban driving a vehicle — own or rented — without a valid licence. In K’taka, licenceless drivers caused 18% of accidents last yr Additional commissioner of police (traffic) P Harishekaran said there are some cases of youngsters driving vehicles without the requisite permit.

“Those caught for traffic violations can no longer claim they forgot their licence since they can now show it through Digi-Locker app. Those who don’t have smartphones must carry a copy of their licence on them.”

Some 18% of road accidents in Karnataka last year involved drivers without licence. Government records said of 42,542 accidents in Karnataka in 2017, some 7,497 were caused by motorists without licence.

Motorists can store driving licence, registration certificate, insurance papers and other documents in electronic form on DigiLocker or mParivahan app. “These records are considered legal, and are as good as the original documents as per IT Act, 2000,” a Union ministry note said.

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