If you thought that traffic police has gone lax on the implementation of drunken driving enforcement and is going soft on other violations too, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) C.V. Anand is promising otherwise.
After being away from the traffic duties for the last two months, Mr. Anand is back in action.
The traffic police are getting ready to roll out a host of new projects to streamline the traffic management with the latest technology and yes, a renewed focus on arresting drunk driving.
Drawing upon your experience and recent trips to Europe, what are the practices that can be adopted here?
It has been observed that people adhere to traffic rules when they are given better facilities and infrastructure.
There is a need for better public transport system, like metro, MMTS and better RTC buses, to reduce the burden on roads.
European cities have a fantastic infrastructure.
What are the immediate steps that can be taken up?
Issuing driving licences should be made stringent. The Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) should be strengthened and for the sake of better coordination between various departments, there should be a unified centre to deal with traffic and public transportation related issues.
Do you think all this is possible here?
It is not impossible. Most of the time civic authorities have their hands full with various projects. I found that many things, which seem difficult, become simple when we establish better coordination. Upcoming projects like Hyderabad Traffic Management System (H-TRIMS) is a result of such coordination. Work on the system will begin soon. There are other projects in the pipeline too.
What are the other projects?
A completely revamped e-challan system will be initiated soon. Faulty CCTVs cameras are being repaired and new cameras will be procured to bring all junctions under their coverage. New plans are being devised to educate people about traffic rules. Rigorous enforcement against drunk driving will be resumed with even more breath analysers.
What further steps are required to ensure lane discipline?
With more than 74 per cent of vehicles being two-wheelers, it is difficult to ensure lane discipline. Even in Paris, police find it difficult to restrict two-wheelers to a lane. Only an effective signalling system and stringent enforcement will result smooth traffic flow.
Is it true that the police officials have to meet a set target for issuing ‘challans’ everyday?
Yes. Traffic Inspectors are expected to meet a minimum target for issuing ‘challans’ everyday. Basic responsibility of traffic police is to enforce the rules that were laid out under MV Act. An officer’s performance is usually assessed through such targets.
But aren’t motorists being harassed in pursuit of this ‘challans’ target?
There is such a possibility. But we ensure that corrupt and abusive behaviour is punished promptly. There were instances where some inspectors were sent away from the traffic police on these grounds.
Such practices can be reduced by setting up an effective non-contact enforcement like the revamped e-challan system.