It has been a sad few months for motorists around the country with the whole nation going into lockdown with strict travel restrictions. What has been particularly concerning for some people is the validity of their driving license and other documents nearing expiry because in the current situation, getting them renewed would prove to be troublesome. To counter the same, the Central government on Tuesday extended the validity of the driving license, learner’s license, registrations and all other permits till September 30 this year.
Shortly after lockdown 1.0 ensued, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) asked state governments to extend the validity of vehicle and driving documents expiring between February 1 and June 30 to June 30, 2020. But in a recent tweet, MoRTH chief Nitin Gadkari said, “Given the current circumstances to avoid hardships being faced by transporters and citizens, State Govts are further advised that these documents be considered valid till 30 September 2020 for enforcement purpose.”
Making the announcement, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has issued an advisory to all states and UTs to this effect. The ministry now has urged the states and UTs to consider provisions available under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 or other such provisions available under other Acts, for considering relaxation in requirement of a permit, or fees or taxes for renewal/penalty for permits etc to provide relief during these extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19. The respective documents include driving licenses, vehicle registrations, permits and vehicle fitness certificates.
What does it mean and what it does not
This does mean that motorists can now take a deep breath, particularly the ones who were concerned about the validity of their driving license and other documents getting expired. But this doesn’t mean that one should resume those recreational rides and drives. With restrictions being eased now under ‘Unlock 1.0’, people have begun to come out and indulge in some outdoor activities. However, the restrictions have been eased primarily for people to resume their business so that economic activities could restart and the country can earn its bread. Some have been making use of this opportunity for a release, but they’ve been doing it as a bunch, attracting law authorities towards themselves like magnets.
In a case from Gurgaon, about 19 superbikes were seized by the police when they were found flouting the Unlock 1.0 norms. The incident happened on Sunday night when a group of high-end motorcycle owners met for a ride. Since the restrictions to go out have now been lifted in a major part of the town, the bikers decided to make up for the stationary time and were apparently spotted speeding and stunting on public roads by the area’s DCP who was passing by.
Not too long ago, a group of more than 50 Superbikers went out for a short highway burst on the Bengaluru-Hassan highway and were soon stopped by the Police authorities who later confronted them. They were then taken to the respective police station and made to wait for hours before the officials issued a fine of INR 3000 on every biker.