Steps by the traffic department along with drivers' efforts could help in ensuring better traffic discipline in city, feels transport commissioner VN More. Excerpts from an interview:
Despite the measures taken by the transport department, why is there no reduction in the number of accidents in the city?
Every year, there is a 12-13% hike in the number of vehicles. The number of registered vehicles in the city is 20 lakh and 1.94 crore across the state. Though the accident figures have stabilised in the last 3-4 years, the number has still been high. According to the central government's analysis, 75-78% accidents in the country have been because of human error. So, definitely, more needs to be done.
Could increasing the number of tests before issuing licences help?
While the vehicular population has increased three-fold in the last 12 years, our staff strength has risen only by 10%. This prevents us from conducting thorough tests. To check these problems, we are looking at roping in private firms for the job. We plan to monitor the process of issuing fitness certificate through CCTVs and make procuring licences more difficult.
Recently, Mumbai has witnessed some cases of rash driving. What is being done to prevent such accidents in the future?
Two-wheelers contribute to 71% of the vehicles in the city. The number of accident cases involving two-wheelers is also high. Most equate empty roads with speeding. In Mumbai, most accidents take place from 11pm-6am, when the roads are empty. This mindset needs to change.
What are your short-term plans to ensure better traffic discipline?
We have started installing speed governors in school buses. The proposal for such facility in other heavy vehicles, too, is under consideration.