The city has over 21 lakh vehicles and 500 new vehicles are registered every day. Of the total vehicles, more than 55 per cent are two-wheelers whereas over 30 per cent are four wheelers, which are controlled by nearly 3,400 traffic cops.
There are only 225 cameras in the city to watch the road. In 2013, 9,200 offences were caught via the CCTV cameras and by March 15 this year, 1,200 cases had already been registered.
In January, 423 offenders were caught on camera and in February, 442 were fined. This month, over 200 have been caught already.
The cameras capture cases of rash driving, helmet-less riders and those jumping signals. If motorists dare to violate the traffic rules in the absence of traffic police near the signal — and this is common — the cameras are sure to catch them.
According to traffic rules in Pakistan, if a motorist defies traffic rules, he has to pay more premium, as a disincentive. There are strict rules for motorists in USA, Japan and European countries.
In India, the penalty is R100 fine for signal jumping, driving without helmet under sections 239 and 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act, and R500 for driving recklessly under Section 184 of the same act. Considering how much we pay for a meal at a city restaurant or even a cup of coffee, this is negligible.
The fine amount should be hiked in such way that a motorist has to think twice before jumping a signal. Or, the insurance premium should be hiked.
The surveillence system should be improved as well for greater vigilance. These cameras are not able to capture number plates if the vehicles are in motion. This means that the CCTV cameras are of no use, unless the cars actually stop at the signals. Also, there is a need to increase the number of cameras as well as traffic cops, to control the city’s traffic.
In the absence of civic sense, cops have no option but to resort to the ‘fear factor’ for motorists.