Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A disturbing trend in traffic violations

A disturbing trend in traffic violations
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The recklessness, which led to the death of two policemen in separate road accidents last week, has shocked people, but the incidents do not come as a surprise.

Bangalore is second only to Delhi in the number of fatal road accidents and vehicle population. But what is surprising is the nature of the city’s traffic. Commonsense would say that rigorous enforcement of traffic rules would keep a check on violations. But the traffic statistics seem to defy this.

Last year, the traffic police booked over 15 lakh cases under the Indian Motor Vehicle Act, compared to 10 lakh the year before. The offence under which the maximum number of cases was booked was jumping traffic signals (1.86 lakh).

Violating one - ways came second with 1.06 lakh cases. In 2004, the police had booked 1.15 lakh cases and 95,916 cases under these two heads respectively. Yet, offences are still being committed every minute and with impunity.

The apparent reasons for motorists violating rules are indeed disturbing. For, even though motorists are aware of the rules and keep an eye out for enforcement squads lurking on road corners, many prefer to break a rule if a policeman is not around.

Incidentally, even as Bangalore has a high number of accidents, the city’s traffic police force comprises a mere 1,871 personnel. The police had initiated several measures for prevention of accidents like reducing junction conflicts by introducing one-ways and equipping squads with alcometers.

The police had also found that software employees were more vulnerable due to work timings and around 3,500 people were given training in traffic discipline and road safety.

Raised zebra crossings have been installed in many places because nearly 40 percent of casualties were pedestrians. Many of these measures have paid off and the number of accidents had come down marginally in 2005.

But on the other hand, midnight racers continued cock - a - snook at policemen by holding ‘drag races’ on M G Road, a Zero Tolerance Zone. This menace had continued till the police launched a special drive around two weeks ago.

Ironically, sub - inspector Arun Kumar was checking vehicles on the racing circuit (M G Road to Cubbon Road) when he was mowed down by a reckless driver on March 18.

Senior officers say the number of violations is also due to the phenomenal increase in vehicle population and an influx of people to the city. In fact, the future plans for traffic decongestion in the city includes setting up of traffic help desks and more public interaction.


At Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 10:53:00 AM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The offence under which the maximum number of cases was booked was jumping traffic signals." - WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Don't tell me the authorities don't REALLY know how this works?!

What happens is - Bangalore's great traffic cops are specialists in lying in wait for young men on bikes at road corners. They stop these guys and more often than not, find some vehicle papers missing. Then they put forth the proposal - "For this paper missing, the fine is Rs.400. But I'll put 'jumping signal' on the receipt and u pay just Rs.200 - Rs.100 for the fine and Rs.100 (well, u know who gets that)." Obviously the chap agrees - he's happy, the cops are happy and the authorities are happy that 'signal jumpers' are getting caught - and that's how this statistic comes about.

If the traffic cops really CONTROLLED traffic and booked serious offenders, traffic problems would disappear.

If the authorities just drove around in unmarked cars, conducting spot checks, traffic cops would be more than just Bangalore's vultures, preying on easy targets.


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