The district administration and police of two north Bengal districts have initiated stern steps to curb road accidents and check reckless driving.
The administration in Jalpaiguri has started a new process to obtain driving licences, while the Alipurduar police have decided to impose fines ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 2000 on reckless drivers and suspend their licences up to one year.
Yesterday, Rachna Bhagat, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, inaugurated the computer test for an applicant to avail himself of the licence.
"An applicant needs to fill up a form and submit Rs 329 as fee to the motor vehicles department. He/she will be given a sample of 300-odd questions related to driving and traffic safety to prepare for the test. They will have to appear for the test on the stipulated date and answer 10 questions in five minutes. They will have to answer six questions correctly to get the licence. Otherwise, the applicant will have to repeat the process," a source said.
As of now, six applicants can appear for the test at a time in any office of the motor vehicles department.
"After obtaining the learner licence that would be valid for six months, the applicant will have to appear before the officials of the department during this period to show development in driving skills. If the officials feel satisfied, licence will be provided," the source added.
The idea is to develop knowledge of traffic rules and safe driving skills among the applicants, administrative sources said.
Avaru Ravindranath, the superintendent of police of Alipurduar, said: "We will now suspend licences of reckless drivers for a period of three months to one year, depending on severity of violation."
The district has received Rs 1.77 crore to improve traffic system from the state government, the SP said.
"We will introduce signal lights at 20 crossing in Alipurduar. We have received two breath analysers to find intoxicated drivers. We are also using laser speed guns to check the speed of vehicles. Driving by minors will be strictly stopped," he added.