Global Road Safety Week: Drink driving on the wane, but other traffic violations on the rise

While Salman Khan was found guilty of drink driving, speeding and driving rashly, Traffic police data shows that there has been a steep rise in similar traffic offences, barring driving under the influence of alcohol, which has seen a fall

The verdict in Salman Khan’s 2002 hit-and-run case couldn’t have come at a more fitting time, with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week currently on till May 10. Khan was not only found guilty of drink driving but also for speeding and rash driving, and with traffic violations on the rise in the city, perhaps the actor’s conviction will come as a warning to other motorists.

Cases of drink driving have reduced in the city due to the regular bandobasts and nakabandis on the roads, especially during weekends. File pic for representation
Cases of drink driving have reduced in the city due to the regular bandobasts and nakabandis on the roads, especially during weekends. File pic for representation

The Mumbai Traffic police has released the figures of traffic violations for the first quarter of the calendar year, and the only silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud is that cases of drink driving have reduced in the city, due to the regular bandobasts and nakabandis on the roads, especially during weekends.

There has, however, been no let up in rash driving, speeding and other violations, cases of some of which have more than doubled compared to the same period last year. The cases have been increasing steadily over the past three years.

For instance, from January to March 2013, the Mumbai Traffic police recorded 1,195 incidents of rash driving, while the corresponding period in 2014 saw 1,610 cases, which more than doubled to 3,788 this year (see box). “This shows the kind of driving being followed in Mumbai,” said an RTO official.

According to Traffic cops, the rise in traffic offences is partly due to the increase in numbers of two-wheelers in the city. Traffic officials say bikers are infamous for flouting rules and riding without helmets, cutting lanes, etc. According to the state Transport department, the number of two-wheeler registrations has gone up from 13.29 lakh in 2014 to 14.30 lakh in 2015.

These vehicles were all registered at the three Mumbai RTOs at Tardeo, Andheri and Wadala which represent the island city, and the eastern and western suburbs. Cases of riding without helmets, for instance, have gone up by nearly 63% from 57,964 in the first quarter of 2014, to 94,962 in the same period this year.

“There is a need for motorcyclists to understand the need for wearing helmets. We have made it mandatory for all those registering their two-wheelers to sign a pledge that they will wear helmets,” said Mahesh Zagade, transport commissioner.

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