It has only been a fortnight since the Mumbai traffic police started to crack down on bikers who ride their two-wheelers on the wrong side of the road, but 192 offenders have already been arrested — of whom most are youngsters.
The police have now started to register cases of rash and negligent driving under section 279 of the Indian Penal Code. Earlier, motorists were penalised only for driving in ‘no-entry’ areas, said officials. Further, not only is the offender arrested, but also his vehicle seized by the police.
According to the police, nearly 1,000 motorists from the city have been booked every day, for these four offences, since the initiative was launched on November 1.
“The western and eastern suburbs have witnessed the most number of cases of rash and negligent driving. We are trying to identify areas where the problem is most grave and will take the necessary action,” said Dr BK Upadhyay, joint commissioner, Mumbai traffic police.
To give motorists a fair chance, the police have made public service announcements to warn the bikers and motorists about the repercussions of flouting traffic rules.
They have widely advertised a circular that mentions the change in penalty for driving in the wrong direction. “We have issued PSAs, for announcements at regular intervals. Our personnel are posted at various accident-prone spots to curb the number of cases of rash and negligent driving,” said Upadhyay.
On June 6, the Hindustan Times and former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar had launched a campaign to ensure traffic rules are followed on Mumbai’s roads. A proposal was also submitted to the traffic police to help curb traffic offences of driving in the wrong direction, riding without helmets, not stopping before the stop line and jumping signals.
Since then, the traffic police has undertaken several campaigns to crack down on offenders.