How many traffic violation tickets a vehicle rider/driver would have in his "kitty" in 11 months? Take a wild guess. This story will leave you gobsmacked. There is also a bigger story leading this. Rajesh Kumar, who happily vroomed on the streets of Bangalore, probably even forgot that there exists something called as "traffic rules." Right from riding without helmets, to using mobile while riding, to no entry, jumping traffic signals, lane discipline, parking et al, Rajesh Kumar had accumulated well over 100 challans.
To be exact, 101 cases of traffic violation tickets, setting a record of sorts -- highest so far by an individual in Bangalore. And finally, in August end, Rajesh Kumar was handed over a lengthy challan running upto some four feet for a period between September 2019 and August 26, 2020, with a cumulative fine of Rs 57,200. Interestingly, 60 of the total 101 violations were committed in the Covid-19 months.
Rajesh Kumar’s case gave some food for thought. With accident rates and traffic violations increasing during Covid-19 months due to leniency in policing, the department has readied a list of more than 15,000 vehicle users who have committed 10 and more offences. This is the first list collated and these habitual offenders will be sent back to school to learn some discipline.
Yes, quite literally. The existing traffic training institute of Bangalore city traffic police has started giving some basic lessons about rules, road discipline, Motor Vehicles Act, violations and everything related to riding and driving. As a pilot project, about 20 offenders are being pulled out of the roads daily, their vehicles seized and brought to the training institute where they will undergo various sessions on road discipline and rules.
"The violators have to be harassed, otherwise they will shun discipline," says Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic East, M Narayan. "We cannot have road users continuously violating traffic rules, putting their and others’ lives in danger. Accident rate and violations have gone up in the Covid months and we are now cracking down heavily," the officer added.
The traffic training institute at Thanisandra has been functioning since 1999 where personnel recruited for traffic department are trained in every aspect. Traffic police tied up with automobile major Honda and set up a Dark Room in the institute which is a mini road with all the necessary infrastructure like signages, signals, speed breakers, blinkers and more. There are two wheeler and four wheeler simulators where the offenders will be made to drive and ride.
"It is an almost half a day task. You are driving to office or in a hurry to reach somewhere and our personal digital assistant gadgets that has the data base of offender shows up your coordinates. You will be immediately stopped and vehicle seized. You will have to mandatorily attend the training session and there will be no excuses entertained. Almost half a day will be gone and it is quite a stress. To avoid such repetitions in future, the offender will learn some road discipline. To start with, we have a batch of 20 offenders daily and the numbers will go up in the coming months," explained Narayan to News18.
According to the statistics, over the last two months, Bangalore has witnessed "high impact and high visibility offences." This means, more than two people have died in one accident and here, self accidents account for more than 60%. "Imagine on a busy highway, three including a salwar kameez-clad girl on a motorbike did a wheelie, without helmets and it all went wrong. All the three died. Such self accidents are rising as the roads are comparatively free," the DCP pointed out.