How many of you know of someone who was born hearing impaired? How many of you have parents who have turned hearing impaired due to age or other factors? Almost every one of us knows of someone who is completely or partially deaf & is more than capable of driving. Yet the thought of them out in a vehicle alone, gives us nightmares because of worry. Telangana, in a laudable move, has become the first state in India to introduce a sign to be put on vehicles being driven by those who are hearing impaired.
Designed by Graphic Designer Manikanta Annapragada from Hyderabad, he is also the first person to have obtained a licence in the hearing impaired category. The Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry had previously granted permission for those who are hearing impaired to obtain licenses if they pass the driving test, in November 2016.
The state transport department has even finalised the logo designed that was chosen from eight different designs submitted by Manikanta. The logo is red, containing the mark of those who are hearing impaired and reads – Driver is deaf, please watch out. The logo will be placed four inches high and three inches wide on the rear of two wheelers and three inches high and two inches wide on the front. For four wheelers, the logo will be six inches tall and five inches wide in the rear and four inches tall and three inches wide in the front.
It is also mandatory that vehicles have rear view mirrors on both sides. The Telangana state transport department has reportedly told DC that almost 10 people have applied for learner’s license in the hearing impaired category.
It is a common misconception that those who are deaf cannot drive, that if you can’t hear you can’t drive. But deaf drivers around the world prove otherwise & it’s time for India to prove so too. Till 2016, hearing impaired drivers in India have driven around without licenses, despite being capable enough to drive. The issuing of these licenses and the sign will change the scenario in not just Telangana but hopefully all of India too. Andhra Pradesh, are you listening?