Making some changes in the procedure for issuing driver’s licence and infusing a sense of responsibility among motorists can help in controlling incidents of rash driving, said Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (traffic). Excerpts from an interview:
Despite several campaigns by the traffic police, cases of rash driving in the city are on the rise. What steps can be taken to control such incidents?
We need to make changes in the procedure for issuing driver’s licences. People ought to realise that getting the driver’s licence comes with a responsibility. By indulging in dangerous driving, apart from their own, they are risking the lives of other motorists and pedestrians too. Drivers should refrain from violating traffic regulations, from basic rules such as lane cutting to greater offences such as drink driving.
Do you think that increasing fines for traffic violations will act as a deterrent?
It may help, but to what extent, I am not sure. I could give you a simple example. Every year, at least 4,000 people die while crossing the railway tracks. Despite that, people continue to cross the railway tracks, instead of taking the foot overbridges. If the number of deaths, too, can’t act as deterrent, how would increasing fines help?
What measures have the police taken to control rash and negligent driving in the city?
We have organised several drives that include registering first information reports (FIR) under section 279 of the Indian Penal Code for rash driving against the offender. Several people were booked under the offence. We also got zonal heads and police personnel from local police stations involved in our campaigns. It is an ongoing campaign being held with an aim to bring down the incidents of rash driving.