In an unprecedented move, following a tragic incident involving an underage driver in Lahore's DHA area, the Punjab police have launched an extensive crackdown on unlicensed driving. This has led to the record-breaking issuance of 111,000 driving licences in a single day, a Wednesday that will be remembered for this massive administrative undertaking. The licenses issued encompass learning, national, and international categories, signifying a comprehensive approach to address the grave issue of unlicensed driving.
A Breakdown of the Distribution
As per the breakdown of the distribution, Lahore, being the most populous city in the province, received the largest share of 27,000 licences. This was followed by other major cities including Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Rawalpindi. The immense distribution of licences across the province is indicative of the resolve of the Punjab police to ensure that every driver on the road is legally equipped to be there.
A Hike in Driving Licence Fee
In a related development, the Punjab government has raised the driving licence fee from Rs60 to a whopping Rs1,000. This decision was made in the 33rd meeting of the provincial cabinet under the stewardship of caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi. Despite the significant increase, the Lahore Traffic Police have issued a statement that applications can continue to be submitted at the old rate until the end of the year, providing some relief to applicants.
Public Response and Future Implications
The hike in the licence fee has been met with criticism on social media platforms, while the increase in penalties for violations by learner's permit holders, now Rs2,000, has been received with mixed responses. Regardless, the overall initiative by the Punjab police is a bold step towards increasing road safety and regulating driving practices in the province. As the new rates for the driving licence fee take effect from January 1, 2024, it remains to be seen how this major policy change will shape the driving landscape in Punjab.