Kerala transport ministry warns taxi drivers: If you pick up drunk passengers, we'll catch you
A strange new directive from ‘Motor Vehicles driving regulation 2017’, forbids drivers from taking inebriated passengers along
Editor's note: This article was originally published on 14 August with the erroneous headline 'Centre warns taxi drivers: If you pick up drunk passengers, we'll catch you'. The headline has been corrected to reflect the fact that this wasn't an order from the Central government. The error is regretted.
A new directive from the road transportation ministry forbids taxi drivers from picking up drunk passengers, according to a report in The New Indian Express.
According to the Motor Vehicles driving regulation 2017: “The driver shall strictly comply with the laws for the time being in force relating to the prohibition on the consumption of alcohol and drugs and smoking, and also ensure compliance there by the other crew, riders and passengers if any.”
The regulation adds that it is the driver's responsibility to ascertain whether his passengers are in an inebriated condition.
“If earlier, the drivers were punished for riding after consuming alcohol, with this new rule, they along with the crew will be subjected to punishment if they ride or drive the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The drivers have to ensure their passengers are not in an inebriated state, otherwise they’ll be booked under the new rule,” The New Indian Express quoted V Sureshkumar, senior deputy transport commissioner (Tax), Motor Vehicle Department, Kerala, as saying.
On 4 August, it was reported that leaders of all parties had decided to send the Motor Vehicles Bill, which aims to usher in far-reaching reforms in the transport sector, to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha.
The bill aims to bring radical reforms in the transport sector, ranging from hefty fines for traffic rules violations to improving the licensing system and checking bogus licenses.
The bill, which would amend the nearly 30-year old Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 was passed by the Lok Sabha last year but remains stuck in the Rajya Sabha where the Opposition demanded that it be sent to the select committee for proper scrutiny.
With inputs from PTI.
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