Poor diligence in granting driving licences costing lives on Maharashtra roads
Maharashtra is one of the states with high personal vehicle density across India. Experts believe that poor diligence while granting driving licences in the state is costing people's lives on the roads. PTI has reported that around 97.24 per cent of 32.04 lakh applicants who applied for driving licences have passed the tests, while only 2.4 per cent failed and 0.36 per cent didn't turn up for tests. The experts believe such a high success rate in getting a driving licence in the state is nothing but a lack of diligence on the licence-issuing officials' part.
The experts reportedly said that lack of proper diligence while granting driving licences and inadequate law enforcement resulted in high fatalities due to road accidents in Maharashtra. The report further claims that among the 50 regional transport offices (RTO) in the state, 14 had a failure rate of less than one per cent among driving test applicants, while only six had a failure rate of more than five per cent. What is more serious is that in some RTO offices, the failure rate was below 0.50 per cent, and a few had more than seven to eight per cent, reveals the report.
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The experts say it is difficult to understand how so many drivers were passing driving tests. At the same time, if so many drivers are passing the driving tests, how the number of road accidents and related deaths is alarmingly high on Maharashtra roads, questioned the experts. They have demanded that the process of issuing driving licences needs to be improved to assess the safe driving skills of the applicants critically. The experts said that such a strict process would ensure only skilled drivers are granted driving licences.
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The experts have alleged that the driving tests conducted by the RTOs are considered a mere formality at most of the RTOs. Also, they have alleged that a permanent driving licence is granted without properly testing driving skills. The experts stated that such a low failure rate of applicants only highlights the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the driving licence-issuing system.
Maharashtra transport department's records have revealed that the failure rate of learning licence tests was high in 2022. Out of 18.80 lakh applicants for learning licences last year, 9.23 per cent failed the tests, translating to 1.73 lakh applicants. Speaking about the road accident and related fatalities in the state, the transport department data reveals that at least 14,883 people were killed and 27,218 were injured in 33,069 road crashes across Maharashtra 2022.