City violates traffic laws left, right & centre; state fares relatively better

Mumbai: After the rigorous crackdown on riding without helmets and causing obstruction to traffic, the violations recorded in Mumbai doubled in 2019, as compared to the preceding year. However, across the state, the number of violations in these categories fell, along with those related to drink and drive, dangerous driving and jumping signals. Round-the-year awareness campaigns may have instilled traffic sense but we are far from being model citizens, according to police and transport experts.

But alarmingly for Mumbai, data from the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) and the Highway State Police (HSP) shows a spurt in the major traffic violations recorded in the city. Vijay Patil, superintendent of police, HSP, said, the increase in number of cases reported and the fines generated in the state in 2019 could be attributed to the use of interceptor vehicles stationed at various locations along the entry and exit points of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is the direct result of aggressive enforcement of the law along with constant awareness drives undertaken in the city and state.

The violations for riding without a helmet in the city have doubled, from 1.21 lakh violations in 2018 to 3.67 lakh last year and increased threefold in the state, from 3.60 lakh to 26 lakh respectively. Speeding, considered dangerous driving, too has seen a three-fold rise in the state, from 28,020 violations in 2018 to 1.08 lakh in 2019,while in Mumbai, it declined sharply, from 7.77 lakh to 1.03 lakh in the same periods.

Despite several campaigns and awareness drives undertaken to instil traffic sense in citizens, motorists continue to stop their vehicles well ahead of the zebra crossings at traffic signals and then get booked for the offence. From 3.44 lakh incidents in 2018, the violations almost tripled to 10.17 lakh last year. Transport expert Ashok Datar said, “One should learn to follow traffic rules and stop before the white line, as it has been drawn there for a reason. Likewise, the yellow signal means slow down, not speed, a fact often misinterpreted by the motorists.”

While Mumbai recorded a rise in the number of cases of jumping signals, across the state, a steep decline was observed. Even as the Mumbai Traffic Police and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have provided enough public parking spots in the city, as many as 14.17 lakh were booked for parking their vehicles in ‘no parking’ areas last year, while 6.94 lakh were booked in the preceding year.

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