Police alone cannot bring in a change without motorists’ support, writes

L. Srikrishna

The other day, a senior journalist asked the traffic police officer in the city: How many persons are permitted to ride/travel on a two-wheeler? Baffled over the query, the police officer replied: Two.

He wondered as to why the journalist posed such a question, when it was well known that only two persons are permitted as per the law.

But, it is common to see three or even more persons (children in the case of the fourth person) riding on two-wheelers in the ‘temple’ city.

There has been a rise in violations, particularly, among the youth, police said. The law offenders not only ride in a rash and negligent manner, but also terrorise other road users, law abiding motorists claim.

Police officers say that last year alone they have collected fines to the tune of Rs. 1.59 crore through registering 1.54 lakh cases for various violations of road rules in the city.

For triple riding violation alone, the police have booked close to 4,700 cases and collected fines totalling to Rs. 2.35 lakh.

This year, during January and till February 25, about 500 cases have been booked for triple riding, the officers add.

The traffic police have also booked cases for over-speeding, rash and negligent driving, talking over mobile phones while driving and for not wearing helmets.

Though there are complaints from motorists that police are selective in registering cases, the custodians of law are keen to make vehicle users follow rules.

Recently, Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian flagged off a helmet awareness rally in the city involving students of Yadava College.

With the rise in number of vehicles, especially more two-wheelers, police feel that they alone could not bring in a change without motorists’ support.

Self-discipline has to evolve from every individual. Our intention is not just to impose fines, but educate road users, said Mr. Balasubramanian.

The police are striving hard to prevent fatal accidents.

With the number of fatal road accidents falling marginally in 2009, when compared with 2008, the police are marching ahead with the message of “drive safe and obey traffic rules,” the Police Commissioner added.