Strict enforcement of three court orders in public interest has yielded results, writes Biju Govind

Three orders by the Kerala High Court, one recently directing the law enforcers to initiate action against unauthorised parking and the other two to implement the helmet rule and book smokers in public places, have yielded positive results.

The traffic police have launched a drive against parking of vehicles in non-parking areas in the city. On an average, 5 to 8 vehicles were towed away by recovery vans daily, said Anup Kuruvilla John, Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode city.

The court had directed the police to seize vehicles parked in no-parking zones on the national, State highways and arterial roads and impose heavy penalty on the offenders.

Petty charges are imposed on drivers, mostly private four-wheelers, blocking roads and causing traffic congestions. Nearly 410 cases have been registered in September. He said 49,699 motorists had been booked for not wearing helmets till September 2008. A fine of Rs.100 is collected from first-time offenders, and Rs.500 if they break the rule again.

It was observed that in over 50 per cent of deaths involving motorcycles, the riders had not worn headgear. Two-wheelers were involved in 674 accidents last year. They constituted 38.49 per cent of the 1,751 accidents. It is a rise of over 20 per cent in the last two years.

In the case of smoking in public places, the number of cases registered this year so far is 1,937. The Commissioner said it was not the responsibility of the police to ensure that shop owners provided adequate parking space for clients. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) V. Prasannan Nair said the city lacked enough parking spaces unlike Thiruvananthapuram. It was true that many shopkeepers had encroached upon pavements and had converted parking lots into new establishments.