This is one race bikers in the city won hands down in 2016.
Of the 17.03 lakh traffic offences recorded in Mumbai last year, 8.23 lakh were committed by bikers. With the number of cases against bikers surpassing previous years’ figures, officials at the Mumbai traffic police are looking at ways to instill a sense of discipline among them. “Road safety is a casual subject in India. Death in a road accident has become a casual issue,” said RK Padmanabhan, additional director general, highway police, Maharastra, addressing road safety volunteers and traffic police personnel gathered at Road Safety Week 2017 in Mumbai. “The problem is people are conditioned to flout rules when a uniformed police person is not in sight,” said a traffic police inspector.
The Mumbai traffic police have got hi-tech equipment, including 4,672 CCTV cameras, to keep an eye on traffic violations. But JJ flyover seems to be stuck in time. There are no CCTVs on the flyover. While there is one at the CST-end, it is not able to capture bikers getting on to the flyover. Installing CCTVs will help us identify and issue challans to those flouting norms,” said a traffic police officer.
Advocate Mubin Solkar, who challenged the ban, feels with the availability of technology to keep track of violators, the ban should be repealed. “It is not right to punish all bikers for a few black sheep. The police can easily catch rash riders on the flyover,” Solkar said.
A senior traffic official said there is a need for behavioural change among bikers. “Continuous enforcement is not the endgame. Bikers were banned on the flyover to reduce the fatalities. With consistent efforts, we have succeeded in bringing down the number. The bikers need to understand that.”
Solkar said, “Most accidents take place during wee hours. The traffic police should allow bikes on the flyover during peak hours and deploy police at night. This will save bikers’ time and fuel and avoid waste of human resources of the police department.”
The traffic department has also been conducting seminars at various schools and colleges, as youngsters form a considerable number of bikers in Mumbai. “We need to sensitise bikers that they have a licence to ride, but ride responsibly. We will be able to solve the problem only through awareness. Today, through the efforts of the traffic police, motorists consciously stop at a zebra line, I hope others follow suit,” Solkar said.