Saturday, January 31, 2009

Now, you can’t outsmart cops

Now, you can’t outsmart cops
RTOs In Karnataka Will Issue Smart Cards To Track Traffic Offences
Manu Aiyappa | TNN

Bangalore: Driving licences, vehicle registration booklets and plastic cards will soon be a thing of the past. After much dilly-dallying, the government is giving final touches to a new system of smart card driving licences and registration certificates at all regional transport offices of Karnataka.
“From May, all those applying for new DLs and RCs in the 55 RTOs of the state will be issued a smart card, embedded with microprocessor chip with 4 KB memory. This can be availed of within a day of application by paying Rs 200,’’ said Bhaskar Rao, transport commissioner.
Joint commissioner of transport M K Aiyappa said the smart cards will provide relevant information about the vehicle at once, i n cl u d i n g date of purchase, registration, age and address of licence holder, previous owners, and traffic offences. Traffic police and RTO officials will be provided handheld machines to enable them to read the cards. Those with three offences will have to forfeit their licence.
The transport department has also taken steps to include fingerprints to prevent the holder from taking licence in any other state when his DL is cancelled. “The new licences will require candidates to compulsorily visit our office to get photographed. The photo will be saved in our database and replicated on the licence. This will eliminate touts,’’ Aiyappa said.
Easy to carry and long-lasting compared to paper documents Card holders will be covered under insurance for 1 year (Rs 1 lakh for death; Rs 50,000 for permanent disability) Blood group and other data will help during accidents Serves as an ID card Enables tax payment anywhere in state
Existing driving licence holders will have to wait for 7-8 months to avail of this facility. The computerization process of the department, which once had the honour of implementing changes early, has taken a beating over the past five years, which officials claim is due to political instability. Only 10 RTOs in the state, including five in Bangalore, have been fully computerized. In another six months, all other RTOs in the state will follow suit and be linked with software developed by National Informatics Centre, called ‘Saarathi’ for DLs and ‘Vaahan’ for RCs. This will help extract data for preparing smart cards, besides helping law enforcement agencies track history of motorists and vehicles anywhere in the country


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