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Licence a factor in 2016 road accidents

The data, released last week, also reveals that aside from the 41,405 accidents involving those holding a learner's licence

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Licence a factor in 2016 road accidents
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As much as 8.7 per cent of the total accidents on Indian roads involved a learner's licence holder, the road accident data of 2016 states. The percentage is significant, given that most of those procuring a learner's licence retain the document for months before moving on to a regular driving licence.

The data, released last week, also reveals that aside from the 41,405 accidents involving those holding a learner's licence, a majority, 84.6 per cent, of road accidents involved regular driving licence holders, and 32,088 or 6.7 per cent of the total accidents involved those without any licence.

Madhya Pradesh recorded the maximum number of road accidents involving learner's licence holders at 6,068 in 2016, followed by 5,702 in Telengana and 4,627 in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, Tamil Nadu has recorded the maximum accidents involving those without any licence at 5,610, followed by 3,082 in MP.

The revelation has raised concerns in the government with officials stating that learner's licence regulations are not being strictly implemented by states and could be issued in an ad hoc manner.

"For example, anybody holding a learner's licence should be accompanied by an adult holding a regular licence, while driving. It is the responsibility of the states to ensure such regulations are adhered to," a senior official from the ministry said.

Officials say that in many instances, minors drive vehicles for a couple of years before securing licences. As a result, they invariably get involved in several accidents.

The report also reveals that 10,622 minors died in road accidents in 2016, of which 3,417 were driving the vehicle and 7,205 were passengers.

The motor vehicles amendment bill, pending clearance at the Parliament also proposes a three-year jail term for parents if their minor children are caught driving vehicles.

On its part, the ministry is providing funds to states for setting up of automated driving testing tracks and is planning reforms in the current licensing system by reducing human intervention in issuing licences and testing driving skills through automated driving test tracks.

In the 12th five year plan, the ministry has sanctioned six additional Institutes of Driving and Research (IDTR), one each in Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Sikkim, for imparting driving training.

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