Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said road accidents cause an estimated loss of Rs 15 billion annually to the country s economy.
It is reported that around 35 percent drivers have obtained driving licences by producing bogus medical certificates and are responsible for the rise in the number of fatal accidents.
Drivers injured in bus-lorry crash
Kapila SOMARATHNA Panadura group correspondent
Eight persons including the drivers of a lorry and a CTB bus, were admitted to the Panadura Base Hospital following an accident in Panadura on Saturday.
A lorry transporting rice from Marathamuna in Jaffna crashed onto a CTB bus with five passengers. Two drivers and the cleaner were injured in the accident.
The Minister made this disclosure at a ceremony to launch several services to provide a quality and efficient service to customers at the National Transport Medical Institute in Nugegoda.
It has been found that a number of accidents occur due to the incompetence of those at the wheel. This is because today it is easy to obtain a driving licence without actually having to go for a medical test, he said on Saturday.
We have reported a number of fraudulent activities by certain parties in issuing fake medical certificates to obtain driving licences. Police raided many places and seized driving licenses and thousands of forged documents needed to obtain licences including medical certificates and application forms. That is why, the Institute has introduced a new scheme to provide special and genuine medical certificates for drivers, the Minister said.
With the implementation of the new system, they were able to reduce the number of frauds in the issue of driving licences.
The Minister said the UN has declared 2011-2020 as the decade for road safety. Sri Lanka has already taken a number of steps to confirm to guidelines with respect to the highway code, road safety, conduct of drivers and pedestrians through the National Transport Medical Institute.
He said the Government has incurred a huge loss due to road accidents caused by reckless driving which is higher than the amount ( Rs 9 billion) allocated by the Government for Samurdhi beneficiaries.
He said the Institute will commence issuing medical certificates for drivers to obtain the driving licence for light vehicles which were not issued earlier.
Meanwhile, a new computer data base system has been established at the Institute to exchange the information between the Institute and the Motor Traffic Department.