To not set a bad precedent, the State police chief has cracked the whip on personnel getting behind the wheel of the force’s vehicles without a valid driving licence (DL).
A circular asking all personnel to ensure that they have the necessary documents for both two-wheeler and four-wheeler driving was issued recently by Director-General and Inspector-General of Police NeelamaniRaju.
The circular comes in the backdrop of police vehicles getting involved in accidents — both fatal and non-fatal — and becoming a liability to the department, with insurance companies refusing to grant claims because of the lack of a DL for the driver.
The circular directs senior police officers of all ranges, commission rates and even principals of police training colleges to ensure that all police personnel have license. Those without DL should ensure that they get it from the RTO concerned. They will also not be allowed to use the official vehicles until then, the circular states. “Not having a license while using police vehicle is bad precedent as we do not want the police to be law-breakers,” said Inspector-General of Police (Administration) Amrit Paul, adding that making having DL mandatory for police personnel also helps the jurisdictional police station overcome the dearth of drivers at their level.
The problem of policemen using vehicles without DL is greater in rural areas than in city limits. In many cases, it also leads to a personal loss to the policeman, an officer said.
Another senior police officer said there have been many instances of important work pertaining to law and order and investigation being delayed because of the lack of licensed drivers. Moreover, routine work will get easier if all police personnel are trained drivers with valid DLs, he said.