Tougher traffic laws in the offing?

The traffic department has sent a 15-page note to the Centre, asking for changes in Motor Vehicles Act

Riding high on reduction in number of fatal accidents and successful enforcement of traffic laws in the city, Delhi traffic police has sent a 15-page note to central government, asking it bring about changes in the Motor Vehicles Act.

Letter of law! A traffic police constable provides a pamphlet
with road safety guidelines to a commuter in the Capital. File Pic

Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic), Satyendra Garg told MiD DAY, "Fatal accidents in the city have come down and the trend of complying with traffic rules has increased recently. The credit goes to our personnel who have been dealing with such situations toughly. But I feel the Motor Vehicles Act needs to be amended at the earliest. Stiffer fines should be imposed on violators so that we can make city roads safer," added Garg.

The 15-page note was sent recently to the surface transport ministry by Delhi traffic police to a letter wherein the ministry has asked the agencies of different government to list their achievements of road, engineering, several initiatives launched by them in the recent past to make the streets safer.

Getting better
"But I still think we have to go a long way. Our experiences say, non- revision of penalties in Motor Vehicles act since 1988 is proving to be an impediment. Traffic violations are still prosecuted in 2011 on the rates legislated 23 years ago. Traffic situation in Delhi has become safer for commuters but to make it even better, traffic laws need to be amended so that violators are dealt with severely," the fifteen-page note reads.

Citing an example of the Commonwealth Games, the note says, Delhi had witnessed tremendous discipline on roads during CWG 2010 when a penalty of Rs 2000 was imposed for Games lane violation. People started driving carefully. However, the Delhi police have not mentioned the quantum of increase in fines.

1.2 Crore
Approx number of registered vehicles in Delhi-NCR

Street smart
Achievements mentioned in the note by traffic police:
>> Manning of traffic intersections in peak hours: In January 2010, traffic police made it compulsory for all traffic intersections to be manned by officials during peak hours from 8 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 9 pm. And it resulted in better traffic discipline and decline in fatal accidents.

>> Stringent suspension of driving licence for drunk driving: Those who violate drunk driving law shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may be extended to Rs 2000.

>> Disciplining of commercial vehicles: A large number of accidents are committed by commercial vehicles in Delhi. Delhi traffic police ensured that the commercial vehicles do not violate traffic rules particularly at night.

>> Prosecution of DTC buses violating traffic rules: After the Commonwealth Games there is a sudden increase in numbers of public transport vehicles and large-scale violation of traffic rules have been committed by DTC buses. As many as 564 DTC buses have been impounded against 98 in 2010 for serious violations. Delhi traffic police has emphasised on DTC management that buses must ply according to traffic rules and all traffic norms must be followed properly.  

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