The Government has plans of bringing new laws for vehicle owners who fail to renew revenue licence at the appropriate time by imposing additional fines.
This was revealed during a recent discussion organized by the Ministry of Transport and Aviation to discuss the problems associated with using CCTV for road safety and how to solve them to minimize the issues related with road safety.
Accordingly, compared to the first five months of previous years, the number of deaths from road accidents has reduced this year. By using the CCTV technology, the ministry hopes to minimize the number of deaths even more.
Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nihal Somaweera said that the number of lives lost from road accidents during the last few years are far greater than that from the war. He said that this is due high speeds of motorists and the lack of attention paid to pedestrian’s safety when roads were built. He also commented on the lack of safety of trishaws. The ministry is going to present a five-year agenda to the government as to how to promote road safety.
The problems faced by the police when they fine the motorists caught breaching road rules on CCTV camera includes ownership of the vehicle. Most people still trade vehicles based on open papers. They are taking steps to reduce the use of open papers in future. Also they are planning on paying compensation for the victims of hit and run accidents. These will be Rs. 200,000 for a person demised and Rs. 100,000 for a wounded.
He also commented that there are plans to repair more train compartments for the use of general public. The ministry is hoping to buy new compartments as well. They are also hoping to improve the number of goods transporting trains up to 100. They are also hoping to improve the services of SLTB by taking the number of employees into a tolerable level. He also said that the final goal is to develop the transportation to the level where the highest officials would take the public transport. Under the Megapolis project these plans are being made. “We are planning to have a separate lane for buses from Battaramulla to Pettah,” he said.
Deputy Inspector general of police, motor vehicle division, Amarasiri Senaratne said that 115 CCTV cameras are in operation in Colombo Municipal limits. These are under surveillance 24/7. According to the Megapolis plan, they are planning to send the form of summons mentioning the fine to the address with which the vehicle is registered. At present 6,000,000 vehicles are registered in the country and the NIC was the document used for initial registration. Under the current regulation, if the address in the driving licence is changed it has to be informed to the Motor Vehicle department in writing within 30 days. Provision 38 of motor vehicle (Amendment) Act No. 8 of 2009 states:
“138A. (1) Every holder of a driving license shall notify the Commissioner-General either by registered post or personal delivery, of any changes in his residence and postal address within thirty days of such change and the Commissioner General shall endorse such changes in the respective endorsement form and record them in the appropriate registers. (2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall on conviction be liable to the penalty specified in section 224.”
Also we plan on bringing about new laws to act against those who do not pay their fines, when they finally come to renew the vehicle permit. They might have to pay extra fines at this point. The issue of the vehicle insurance to third party other than the owner was commented on. He commented on the ability of the police to seize the vehicles that were transacted through open papers for further investigation.
He also stated that those who get their licence seized by the police have a habit of complaining to the motor vehicle commissioner’s office and obtaining a new licence. He said according to current regulations whoever found guilty of such a charge would be punished by cancelling the driver’s licence.
He also disclosed that with collaboration with the David Pieris Motor Company they are in the process of creating a safe trishaw that has seat belts for both driver and the passengers and handholds for passengers. Also a meter would be attached to all the trishaws in western province. He also stated that special licence would be required from the Commissioner General of the motor vehicles to transport the public. This includes buses, school vans, office services, trishaws, cabs and other passenger services. This will be in effect for buses from July 1, 2016. There is a course to follow prior to obtaining the special services. He also said that a new road sign would be introduced to indicate the presence of the pedestrian crossing. This is in the shape of a diamond and is painted on the road before the crossing. This is already there on Galle road. In Colombo, for those who fail to cross road from the crossing are directed to a class on road use, held every Sunday.