There are closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at intersections, but the constant refrain of the police in cases of hit-and-run accidents is: How do we catch the culprits without knowing the vehicle registration number? Even in these tech-advanced times, police claim helplessness in case the victims or passersby fail to note down the number.
Last year, 76 cases of hit-and-run were reported to the police till September 20. Of these, 41 were fatal. This year, in the corresponding period, 47 cases have been reported; 25 fatal. In most cases, the offending vehicles are trucks, buses and cars, while victims are pedestrians, cyclists or other two-wheeler riders.
The CCTV cameras at certain points are unable to capture the registration numbers of vehicles, especially at night, due to their poor quality. The police’s proposal to get high-resolution cameras is going through tendering. There is a demand of 250 night-vision cameras and 450 others.
In incidents where the number is jotted down by people, there has been some success. For instance, a car driver was nabbed two days after the accident when he had killed a pedestrian and injured five others at the Kalagram light point recently. Sources in the police say, in most incidents, the problem is speeding-cum-drunken driving. The killer vehicles escape as roads are empty and police presence is almost nil at night.
Renuka Jain, a resident of Sector 22, says road users should be sensitive towards lives of others. There is also a view that the law by default puts the relatively mild charge of “causing death by negligence” on the offenders, who walk away with instant bail.
Rupinder Singh, who runs NGO ‘SafeRoads4Us’, says, “Overwhelmingly, we are a god-fearing country. But most people, after hitting innocent commuters, do not bother about law or ‘karma’. Amendment in law is needed for strict punishment to such people.”