In a special drive initiated by the Mumbai Traffic Police (MTP) in from April 5 to 18, as many as 1,366 errant drivers employed by food aggregators were penalised and issued challans for violating the traffic law. These challans were issued to delivery personnel of major aggregators like Dominos, Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats.
The traffic police began a crackdown across the city, wherein the violators were booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicles Act for riding without helmets and wrong side driving. According to the data, 1,124 food aggregator drivers were booked for wrong side driving, while 242 were booked for riding without a helmet.
The Mumbai Police swung into action and began penalising them with fines and challans after an alarming number of complaints poured in on the social media. Before initiating action against the riders, the traffic police held a meeting with the companies and informed them to instruct the delivery personnel to abide by the traffic rules or face consequences in the form of fines.
A senior traffic police official said that the food aggregator delivery persons often get into rash driving in a bid to meet the deadline and not miss the fast delivery tag, which eventually earns them points. "Not realizing that these delivery personnel break traffic rules, put their lives at risk and that of pedestrians as well as they take on the footpath to zip past the people," said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, the police had set up a meeting with food aggregator companies, wherein the officials had asked the companies to go easy on timely delivery policy and not to cut employee incentives due to late delivery as it leads to recklessly driving and endangering lives. The aggregators were also asked to educate food delivery riders about the importance of traffic rules and to encourage them to abide by them as well as encourage patrons of the app to be patient when a delivery is late and not to verbally abuse or harass the rider as it could be fatal.