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Who follows traffic rules in Delhi?

Apr 12, 2007 09:02 PM IST India India

New Delhi: How many of us follow traffic rules? How many of us stop when the lights turn red? Between 4:00 to 7:00 am every morning, only five per cent of us follow the traffic rules. The remaining 95 per cent jump the red light, a survey by the Institute of Road Traffic Education reveals. The survey puts the number of traffic violations in the capital at 146 million every day. However, the challans issued by the traffic police average at 15 thousand every day, which indicates prosecution is as low as 0.01 per cent. For a city with a population of over 16 million people and with roads that cater to over four million vehicles, experts say the challenge lies in understanding the traffic needs of the city and not just issuing challans. “There is a need to understand why violations are taking place. Prosecution is the last part of traffic management,” says President, IRTE, Rohit Baluja. Adds Raman Patel of Intelligent Transportation Systems Center, “We have to encourage people not to violate but the physical constraints on the streets. It has to be done away with. But that requires capacity management.” However, law-enforcers cite limited resources for the miniscule prosecution rate. “We're limited by capacity. Any increase in the numbers will be welcome,” says Jt CP (Traffic), Delhi, Qamar Ahmed. And going by the effectiveness of penalties, prosecution hardly acts as a deterrent, concludes the month-long survey. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The need of the hour is not punishment but management.