Heavy vehicles are not allowed to drive in the fast lane or use flyovers among the various restrictions placed on their movement on city roads, but they break all these rules and more knowing they will rarely be penalised.
"Violations like these usually go unchecked because it is impossible for constables to risk their lives and stop large vehicles speeding in the fast lanes on highways. These vehicles are often overloaded so oil spills and resultant mishaps are common. But the traffic police is not equipped to check violations such as overloading,” said Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (traffic). “"Even if we do manage to catch them, the fine of Rs. 100 is not enough to deter the driver from breaking the rules again.
Experts said a holistic approach is essential if the number of accidents heavy vehicles cause is to be reduced. This would include stricter punishments that are effectively enforced, better training and greater awareness.
Nitin Dossa, vice-president of the Western India Automobile Association said, “A Rs100 fine cannot discourage an errant driver. Once apprehended, the driver should be detained for a few hours. The humiliation and inconvenience will ensure they follow the traffic regulations in the future.”
However, Allka Shah, a member of the road safety advisory board for the Mumbai traffic police, said that increasing fines would only add to corruption.
“Heavy vehicle associations should ensure drivers are adequately trained and versed with traffic rules,” she said. Phansalkar’s suggestion was laid the responsibility of road safety on the drivers themselves. "Drivers have to make sure that know that by violating traffic regulations, they are risking their own lives and those of others”.