The transport authorities in Odisha suspended over 12,500 driving licenses, issued 24,474 e-challans for riding motorcycles without helmets during a special drive, an official said on Friday.

The state transport authority (STA) has conducted a state-wide special drive against riding motorised two-wheelers without wearing helmets on national and state highways from August 16 to August 30.

During the drive, the state collected Rs 63.98 lakh fine from the violators. Similarly, a total of 888 vehicles have been seized for driving without driving license, said Lalmohan Sethi, additional commissioner transport, enforcement and road safety.

The main aim of the drive was to create a sense of responsibility among the road users for prevention of road accidents and fatalities.

It has been observed that out of the accidents taking place on the national and state highways, many are related to two-wheeler riders, said Sethi.

He said the frequency of enforcement drives will be increased in the month of September.

In view of upcoming puja and winter season, September has been declared as month of enforcement. There will be zero tolerance for violation of traffic and Motor Vehicle rules, he warned.

Enforcement drives will include drunken driving, helmet checking, and vehicle fitness including school buses and overloading of vehicles. The drives will take place at regular intervals throughout the month, he informed.

Helmet-less driving is a major cause of road accidents and grievous injury across Odisha. As many as 1,308 people, including riders (868) and pillion riders (440) of motorised two-wheelers, were killed in road accidents in the year 2021.

Most of them were not wearing helmets. A total of 1,280 people were grievously injured and 747 had minor injuries in accidents involving two wheelers.