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Foreigners to Obtain Driving License at Sri Lankan Airports from April 15 – Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna

Speedy Compensation Program for Road Accident Victims without Legal Hassles.
Road Safety Forums to Launch in Schools Nationwide from April 03.

State Minister of Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna revealed that foreign individuals seeking a driving license in Sri Lanka will have the convenience of applying for it directly at the airport from April 15th 2024. Upon exiting the airport, they will be able to obtain their driver’s license swiftly and efficiently.

The Minister of State mentioned that the program to provide compensation to road accident victims promptly without judicial action was also started on March 01.

The individuals can claim a maximum compensation amount of up to Rs. 500, 000 by submitting an application to the relevant insurance company within one year of the accident. This compensation can be availed from any branch of the insurance company across the island, he explained.

The State Minister Alagiyawanna was addressing a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (22).

Addressing the Media Personnel the State Minister further said;

Under the directives of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, various projects were executed to curb road accidents. It was acknowledged that road accident victims encounter numerous difficulties. Consequently, following extensive discussions between the Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and insurance companies, a program was initiated on March 01st to expedite compensation without legal proceedings. This compensation mechanism is effective from March 01st onwards and does not apply retroactively to past incidents.

Accordingly, individuals can obtain a maximum compensation amount of up to Rs. 500, 000 from any branch of the relevant insurance company across the island by submitting an application within one year of the accident. However, if a victim seeks more than the maximum compensation, they must pursue legal action through court proceedings.

The Sri Lanka Police and Divisional Secretaries have briefed Grama Niladhari Officers about this procedure. In collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, arrangements are being made to obtain a driving license in Sri Lanka for foreigners seeking to have them. They can now apply for it directly at the airport from April 15th.

All necessary arrangements have been made to facilitate the issuance of the driving license upon their departure from the airport. The fees for obtaining a driving license are as follows: USD 25 for one month, USD 50 for three months, USD 75 for six months, and USD 200 for a year or longer.

Additionally, starting from April 10th until the demerit points system takes effect; post offices handling traffic violation fines will transmit details such as the offense’s nature, the respective police station, driving license particulars, and contact number to the National Council for Road Safety’s data system. Using this information, the National Council for Road Safety will send text messages and accident-related videos to the relevant phone numbers through WhatsApp.

It has been acknowledged that promoting awareness to reduce traffic accidents must begin at the school level. As a result, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of Public Security will collaboratively launch road safety forums in every school from April 03rd. Additionally, a plan has been devised to reward school students with medals at different grade levels based on their involvement in practical activities, leading up to the President’s medal. Furthermore, it is anticipated that recipients of the Presidential Medal will be exempt from the written exam when applying for driving licenses.

We also aim to set up road safety forums within the colleges of education and implement similar initiatives. Additionally, we have made provisions for raising awareness about road accidents and traffic rules at preschools by providing necessary facilities.

The National Council for Road Safety was founded in 1998, but its legal authority is deemed inadequate for addressing present-day challenges. In response, Transport Ministeryy Bandula Gunawardena has endeavoured to secure Cabinet approval to elevate the National Council for Road Safety to a Commission. This move is anticipated to be presented to Parliament shortly for the necessary approval.

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