Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chalans and penalties not only solution for traffic voilations

A lot of readers of my blog have suggested me not to restrict the blog only about the parking but write about the traffic and traffic safety. This also sounds like a logical extension of the topic. Today after reading the news about the new bill for higher fines for traffic violations, I found it right topic to start the traffic related posts.

Motor Vehicles Act 1988The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is being amended to raise the penalties for the vehicles violating traffic safety regulations. Plans to hike the parking fees enough to force people to be more careful on the roads are also there. But will it really do the job? The data collected during the period, when the similar penalty hike was done in March 2007 provides the answer to the question.

Delhi government submitted a status report in Delhi High Court. It mentioned that, from fines and penalties till October 15, 2007, the Delhi traffic police earned Rs. 82,66,73,650 as revenue. This is over Rs. 33 crore more than the total fine (Rs. 49,24,11,750) collected in 2006. However, another report submitted by Delhi police to the Bench led by Justice Mukul Mudgal, had said 622 commercial vehicles were involved in fatal accidents in the Capital as of September 30, 2007 — merely 50 vehicles less than that in 2006...
Now, I am not discussing about the idea of increasing the traffic safety violation penalties. But interesting point is that, similar numbers of fatal accidents (infact more since the 2007 figures were till September only) took place despite the penalties being revised upwards. Does this suggest that some critical traffic safety measures are missing?

Okay for a moment let's talk about a different issue that most of us faced last year. The inflation was high and prices of the essential commodities were soaring high. But did someone start eating less? I did not. Now you would be wondering why all of a sudden my blog talks about inflation and the household budget. This is simple; the same situation can be related here also. When the traffic violation penalties are increased the people will not stop driving on the roads, neither will the traffic situation improve. There will be still as much traffic and as much delay in reaching your office. The people will still keep driving zigzag or jumping the red lights. After all who wants delays because of heavy traffic, become the reason to get fired?

So what is missing in the complete plan? It is the road space. The Government will have to either increase the road space (can we demolish some of the buildings to create more road space! Not really). The other solution could be, decrease the number of vehicles on the roads. Though high traffic penalties and parking charges will be deterrent for commuters love affair with their cars, but then they will have to think ways to reach their destinations. It is really hard to find an auto or taxi that is willing to charge as per the card rate. If you dare the DTC buses they are too less in number. Moreover these not only result in a very suffocating experience but add a long delays also. Moreover I still doubt that there is at least one DTC bus plying on every possible rout in Delhi. I have a few points in my mind to decrease the traffic on the Delhi roads, which I will share in my next post. Your suggestions
are welcome and I would include those i my next post. Meanwhile I'll direct you to another blog which talk about the same issue. Please read Siddharth Bhasker's post here.

3 comments:

Praveen Lohani said...

Tight regulation of the Autos and Taxis in terns of unfair charge, could work well for the situation.
However, nothing would work till the time people take upon themselves to stop the 1 man 1 car habit, and start pooling.

Dr. Munish Raizada said...

Dear Rajeev: It is a pleasure to see that you are a crusader for traffic reforms. You have only one -point agenda and that show your focus. India badly needs a traffic regulations, parking space regulations and other various traffic reforms and transparency in this arena. Keep up the good work! Many feel inspired by such activism!

Bhasker Siddharth said...

Dear Rajeev,

I believe you have very well brought out the core reason why traffic rules are breached in India and how the penalties are completely incapable of answering those core reasons.

I tried to search for your profile to contact you personally but couldn't find one. I would like to give the link to you posts on my blog so that my readers get to read related posts as well.

Cheers,
Bhasker Siddharth

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