People need to wear helmets for their own safety, says Pune DCP | pune news | Hindustan Times
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People need to wear helmets for their own safety, says Pune DCP

The first reason for accidents is the negligence of drivers. Often, drivers in the city are seen driving with mobile phones on their ears, driving from the wrong side and drunk driving, among other things.

pune Updated: Jul 12, 2017 13:10 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Ashok Morale deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Pune
Ashok Morale deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Pune(HT PHOTO)

The galloping number of vehicles in Pune city coupled with the absence of efficient public transport has given rise to several traffic related issues. The city roads alone are witnessing close to 300 accidents per year. Against this backdrop DCP (Traffic) Pune, Ashok Morale spoke about the challenges faced by the Traffic Police in preventing accidents and dealing with traffic congestion.

What do think are the most glaring reasons for accidents in the city?

The first reason for accidents is the negligence of drivers followed by bad road conditions and also mechanical defects in vehicles. Often, drivers in the city are seen driving with mobile phones on their ears, driving from the wrong side and drunk driving, among other things. The discipline expected in drivers is seen lacking to a large extent which is a big problem.

How grave is the problem of drunk driving?

Drunk driving is a major problem and such cases can be seen everyday during the evening hours. There are four wheelers drivers, two wheeler drivers and auto rickshaw drivers,all booked for this offence . We also conduct special drives against drunk driving during which we have fined close to 100 offenders in a single day

Punekars have always opposed wearing helmets. How do you see this behaviour?

There needs to be greater awareness about wearing helmets. We have been regularly taking action but the attitude of people needs to change.

What steps is the Traffic Police taking to prevent accidents in the city?

At present we have identified 26 spots in the city where accidents have occurred more than twice or thrice. We are planning to target these spots. One of our inspectors and one engineer from the corporation will be visiting these spots and will check if the roads have any pot holes or any construction issue. Also speed breakers can be installed wherever necessary or they can also be removed if need be. With the help of the corporation we would try and make road signages more visible.

How grave due you think is the problem of traffic congestion in Pune?

Traffic in Pune is slow moving but the traffic has never stopped for two to three hours. Also considering the efforts being made to implement BRT among other things, the situation is likely to improve.

Does the traffic department have enough manpower for the city?

At present we have manpower of 1,400 personnel. A total of 270 personnel joined the department last year, but considering the ever increasing number of vehicles and signal junctions we might soon require more manpower.

How effective has the use of the internet been for better policing?

Installation of CCTVs has been of great help. Since January this year using CCTVs alone we have booked 2.20 lakh traffic offenders and collected a fine of Rs 22 lakh from them.