Based on recommendations of the Chennai traffic police, the state transport department has commenced action to suspend the licences of 5,000 people across the state.

From September 1 and 17, the traffic police sent 8,225 driving licences for suspension for several violations, including drunk driving, driving without seat belt and many such different offences. Between January 1 and August 31 the number was around 5,700 which will now get cancelled by the transport authorities.

Recently, the step to suspend the driving licence of actor Jai, who hit his car against the parapet wall of the Adyar flyover under the influence of alcohol early on Thursday, September 22, signals the tough stand the traffic police department will take against erring motorists.

Additional commissioner (traffic) K Periaiah told leading news daily that the department would take to task anyone found disobeying the rules. “We will not spare anyone, no matter how famous that person is, for violating traffic rules. We will recommend the transport authorities to suspend their driving licences,” said Periaiah.

Periaiah said that the number of cases referred by the traffic police to the transport department had gone up after fresh recruitment and promotions in August.

From now on only sub-inspectors and those ranked above can book cases. “We have the sufficient strength to enforce traffic rules and book cases,” he added.

“Now we don’t allow people time to reach their so-called sources. When the original licence is at hand, we register cases and generate an e-challan. We also send the offender to the nearest government hospital to get a certificate from the doctors to confirm whether he is under the influence of alcohol or not,” said Periaiah.

Between January 1 and September 31, the traffic police registered 14, 37, 816 cases. But the enforcement drive eventually changed post August when the department size grew and carrying original driving licences became compulsory. Police have by far collected `16.39 crore from traffic violators and deposited the amount in the state treasury.