Drivers of cars moving dangerously or speeding past when the traffic signal has turned amber can now have their driving licence suspended for at least three months, police officers said.
Errant drivers will be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act and the case details will be forwarded to the authorities with a note that the licence be suspended.
“This provision for suspending the driving licence for at least three months has always been there. We have decided to enforce it more extensively from next week,” said an officer.
“A driving licence can be suspended for speeding, driving while using mobile phones and drink driving,” said Arijit Sinha, deputy commissioner of Kolkata police, traffic. “An officer of the rank of assistant commissioner usually suspends the licence.”
There was no official word on why the traffic department had decided to step up prosecution, but some suggested that a fatal accident at the Chingrighata crossing of EM Bypass on Saturday afternoon could be the trigger.
One person was killed and six others were injured after being hit by a speeding car that flouted the traffic signal at the intersection.
This newspaper on Sunday spotted many vehicles speeding at the crossing even when the signal was amber. The violations, however, did not attract any immediate prosecutions by the police.
The police said the stretch of EM Bypass between Parama and Chingrighata, especially the Ultadanga-bound flank, was accident-prone because of the contour of the road.
Motorists descending from the Parama flyover tend to speed down resulting in fatal accidents. Two such accidents happened at the Chingrighata crossing on October 10 and 14.
“When an offender is being booked for dangerous driving, officers will have to forward his case documents to an assistant commissioner of police for suspension of the driving licence under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act,” said an officer.
“The entire process of prosecution will be recorded and the offender will have to turn up for a hearing, where he or she will be given a chance to clarify his or her position.”
Section 184 of the Act refers to punishment for anyone found driving dangerously above the prescribed speed limit in a manner that endangers the lives of others.
Some of the conditions that invite this section include violating a stop sign or sign of slowing down, jumping a red light, using handheld communication devices while driving and overtaking other vehicles in a manner contrary to law.
A committee set up by the Bengal government in 2015 had suggested that a driving licence be suspended “for a period not less than three months” if someone was prosecuted under Section 184 of the Act.