Putting blood group details on driving licences can save lives

Hyderabad: The Telangana driving licence ID is devoid of the most significant, fundamental and life-saving detail — the blood group. The optional decision to include the blood group is outlined in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 as it is a valuable piece of information in case a driver meets with a mishap.  

Despite this provision, this isn’t being actualized by the state on the ground that the data is discretionary.

Many representations to make blood group details mandatory detail on the driving licence have been made in the past, but no to avail.

Various Stakeholders stress the importance of the issue

Recently, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao stated in a public meeting that he is going to ask the Transport department to add information regarding the blood group, height, and eye rays. However, this isn’t been implemented.

When visiting the Regional Transport Authority in June 2016, Former Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan suggested that RTA officials should deem it compulsory to list the blood group details on the Driving License.

However, authorities claim that the state isn’t taking any action as the decision to include these details is solely the RTA’s. The Centre is the decision-maker regarding the inclusion of those aforementioned particulars is obligatory or not.

In Tamil Nadu, however, Transport Commissioner Dayanand Kataria mentioned that “Drivers must submit a signed certificate from a registered medical practitioner or a testing laboratory which attests their blood group. This detail will be mentioned on the Driving License.

Social Activists assert that this is the need of the hour in Telangana considering the number of people who lose their lives in accidents.

Speaking to siasat.com, the President of the Telangana State Taxi and Drivers Associaton, Shaik Salauddin mentions “Taking our safety into account, all my drivers are suggested to use the optimal column for now.” He also wants the government to take necessary action in making every citizen avail of this option without any hesitation.

Crucial health-related information like blood group should be made mandatory in the application itself. It becomes easy for the doctors to identify the blood group of the victim if it is mentioned in the driving license and proceed for further treatment immediately.

Seeing the empty space beside the blood group column, he feels the Driving License serves no purpose. “It is imperative that crucial health-related information like the blood group be mentioned on this ID because it is easy for the Doctors to identify the blood group of the victim and immediately proceed for further treatment.

Daneesh Majid, a freelance writer, and Canadian Driver-License holder say that the International Driver’s Licence contains all the necessary details such as sex, height, eye rays, and especially the blood group. “The inclusion of the blood group on this important piece of ID enables quick medical treatment. Creating awareness of this fact can help render this enforcement as mandatory.”

M Dayanand, Telangana Auto, and Motor Welfare Union general secretary said, “We have also requested many employee associations of Transport Department and Road Safety Organizations to join forces with us and request the highest officials to take this initiative forward in Telangana effectively to set a precedent for the entire nation. That too, with the number of people who lose their lives in accidents.”

 Joshua Peter, a sportsperson who met with an accident this year that rendered him a below-the-knee amputee today is a proponent of road safety awareness. He wishes that no one undergoes what we went through. “I was luckily in the conscious state on the day of the accident when divulging my blood group,” he adds.

Though in many situations, time plays a crucial role. Every second doctor takes to conduct tests to confirm the blood group only deducts valuable time from treatment. Peter attests to the need to submit medical certificates and blood group to be mentioned on the licence so that deaths can be prevented via speedier treatment.

Upon asking the Transport division’s Joint Transport Commissioner, Mr. C. Ramesh, as to why the space for the blood group section remained blank, he stated, “At any rate, it is optional here and not imperative as indicated by the Motor Vehicles Act, so no one notices. Also the ability to make it obligatory lies with the Central government.”

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