While traffic police collected Rs. 1.29 crore in penalties, it failed to check road accidents

Huge success in collection of fines, very little progress in reducing number of road accidents. That is Hyderabad traffic police for you. City traffic police have created a record of sorts recently by collecting Rs. 1.29 crore within two months by way of penalties imposed for wrong parking of vehicles. This was achieved by using newly acquired wheel clamps, which make a vehicle immobile when affixed to it, and the ‘impact was tremendous' in deterring drivers from leaving vehicles at no parking zones, claimed the police.

Interestingly, while they are crossing milestones in imposing fines by introducing e-challans and collecting them using new gadgets like Programmable Digital Assistants (PDAs), little success is reported in controlling road accident deaths. In the first six months of the current year, 215 lives were lost in road accidents as against 234 for the corresponding period last year.

That is 19 deaths less compared to the first half of 2010. But that cannot be interpreted that accidents had come down purely due to initiatives of the traffic police. The number of accidents in January 2010 was unusually high at 47 because of poor road conditions and heavy rains that lashed city. This January, 28 fatal accidents were reported. That explains the difference of 19 lesser deaths.

Except in January, April and June, road accidents increased in the months of February and March but remained the same in May. “For past one week, traffic police officials are coming to the remotely located St. Ann's High School in Bollarum and slapping fines after checking documents of drivers. Why similar efforts aren't made to check accidents,” asks Shekhar, a civil contractor of Alwal.

Official version

Traffic Police Additional Commissioner, C.V. Anand, maintains that considerable number of accidents take place during late in the night when the traffic police are not on regulation duty. “Some points on stretches like Necklace road, NTR Marg and Punjagutta ‘Y' fly-over became accident prone due to engineering defects which are beyond our control,” he explains.

These points require reflective studs and hazard boards cautioning the drivers about the curves and turns ahead. The responsibility lies with the GHMC and the traffic police are helpless on such provisions of infrastructural facilities, Mr. Anand says.

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