The government is preparing a database of driving licences to check issuance of multiple licences by different authorities to a single person, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said earlier. The minister also said that India suffered a shortage of at least 22 lakh drivers and a skilled force was being created to fill the void and there was no question of allowing driverless cars.
"To check issuance of multiple licensees to any individual, the government is creating a database of driving licences. At present, getting a licence is much easier in India and there are instances where individuals possess multiple licences issued by different states," Gadkari, who heads Road Transport and Highways Ministry said at an event.
He said to curb issuance of licences without tests, which results in a high number of accidents, the government is setting up multiple drivers training centres. The minister also said that India suffered shortage of at least 22 lakh drivers and under the circumstances there was no question of allowing driverless cars in the country which will consume employment of the youth.
Addressing an event for creating mass movement for road safety, the minister said it was unfortunate that India accounted for the highest number of road accidents globally in which 1.5 lakh people die annually. He said a slew of initiatives are on to curb road accidents including correction in road engineering, imparting training to drivers, making automobile designs safer and identifying trouble areas.
"We have made it compulsory for even economy model vehicles to be fitted with airbags besides making reforms in automobile engineering," he said. The minister added that the length of national highways was also being increased to accommodate more vehicles and road designs were being improved.
Earlier a voluntary body which launched the 'public walk donation', a drive for safer roads, expressed concerns that millions drive on Indian roads everyday but 400 of them did not return to their homes. Stating that road deaths are the biggest cause of unnatural deaths in the country, the NGO 'Drive Smart, Drive Safe' urged citizens to participate in a walkathon, which started in Kanyakumari and will reach Jammu & Kashmir.