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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Helmet rule most broken on capital’s roads: Traffic cops

Data provided by the traffic police showed that between September 1 and September 6, 2698 tickets were issued for jumping the red light, 1,527 for dangerous driving, 1,229 fines were issued for driving without seatbelts and 254 for drink driving.

delhi Updated: Sep 11, 2019 02:40 IST

New Delhi
The number of tickets issued, however, is expected to go up once the state government provides clarity on “compounding challans”, which are those that can be cleared by violators on the spot.
The number of tickets issued, however, is expected to go up once the state government provides clarity on “compounding challans”, which are those that can be cleared by violators on the spot.(HT image)
         

The multifold increase in traffic fines has helped curb violations, said officials, even though the number of tickets issued every day since the new rules were introduced on September 1 has been around 4000 on an average.

In the six days since the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into force, two-wheelers riding without helmets remained the most common violation, at around 4,000 tickets, costing the violator Rs 1,000. In January, Hindustan Times had reported that the helmet rule violation was the most fined offence on city roads over the last three years. The earlier fine was a mere Rs 100.

Data provided by the traffic police showed that between September 1 and September 6, 2698 tickets were issued for jumping the red light, 1,527 for dangerous driving, 1,229 fines were issued for driving without seatbelts and 254 for drink driving.

It also revealed that in the first six days of the month on an average 4000 to 5000 fines were issued everyday. This, when compared to the daily average of the number of fines issued last year was a major slump. In 2018, on an average 18,000 to 20,000 traffic tickets were issued everyday, Delhi Traffic Police data shows.

The number of tickets issued, however, is expected to go up once the state government provides clarity on “compounding challans”, which are those that can be cleared by violators on the spot.

Senior officials said that all fines issued by the enforcement teams since the implementation of the new law have been directed to court.

“The new law has just been implemented and it will take a while for people to see this as a deterrent and follow the rules, for their own safety. Until now, drivers had no fear of fines. They could just get away with paying Rs 100,” said a senior traffic police official.

The official said that helmet violation and red light jumping usually are the most committed traffic offences.

“If you compare to what the scene was before the new rule, there is surely some self disciplining,” the official said.

Traffic and enforcement experts said that the large number of two wheelers in the national capital added with the laxity in law enforcement could be the reason for helmet violations topping the list of traffic offences. According Delhi Economic Survey 2018-19, Delhi has nearly 70 lakh registered two wheelers.

“I have a feeling that the debate has just started and the reality of law has not sunk in till now. It has been around 15 years since I retired and it was during my tenure as the traffic chief that I had demanded these higher fines,” said former traffic police chief Maxwell Pereira.

Periera said that these challans will in the long haul help make roads safer for commuters and drivers.

The amended Act attracts at least 10 times higher fines now for traffic violations. Offences such as red light jumping and riding without helmets now attract a fine of Rs 1,000, while offences such as drink driving will now cost drivers a hefty Rs 10,000. Earlier, the fines for red light jumping and riding without helmets were a mere Rs 100.

The new law has also recognised app-based cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber and has also added bad driving practices such as blocking the way of emergency vehicles into the ambit of law.

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 23:56 IST