Hyderabad: Cases of driving on the wrong side of the road, a Hyderabadi speciality, from January to October 2019, have been recorded at 1,56,923. And these are only drivers apprehended.
Hyderabad traffic police says all of them have been challaned.
Even though the traffic police claim they are booking offenders on a war footing, the number of violators is only growing. When we compare the figures with those of previous years, this is clear. In the year 2017, the number of drivers driving on the wrong side of the road was listed at 66,845 and,in 2018, it was 128,058. By the end of this year we may expect another 3000 violators. Which will take this year’s toll to almost 260 thousand violators.
When questioned about why this number is escalating each year, a Hyderabad traffic official said, “The violators who take up wrong side driving, do it mostly because they want to shorten their route, to avoid traffic snarls and to save fuel but for those petty reasons, they are risking their lives and also putting others lives at risk.” Visibly disturbed, he added: “Wrong side driving is one of the main causes of accidents in the city.”
There are 2,300 traffic police in the Hyderabad traffic police making sure that the traffic is moving smoothly and safely. Cameras have been introduced to click the pictures of the offenders during peak hours, 8 am to 12 noon. Traffic police can only concentrate on the smooth movement of traffic at this time as the traffic load is high on the roads. The rule enforcement activities start from 4 pm and end at 8 pm.
Minors driving is another marked offence on the twin cities' roads. That number too is on the rise. Till October this year, 3,588 minor driving cases had been recorded. Another 700 cases are expected to be recorded by the end of the year. The new rules for offenders are in enforcement, more stringent than the old rules but city police is enforcing the old rule, which is a `1,000 rupee penalty.
In the year 2018, minors driving offenders brought before the court are 42. The court has pronounced imprisonment to both the parent and minor. But this year, no such cases of imprisonment had been recorded so far, only `1,000 penalty is imposed.
There are constant checks and rule enforcements but still the number of offenders are on the rise.
Hyderabad traffic police is constantly conducting awareness programmes to make its citizens abide by traffic rules. Police do training in schools and colleges.
“The Hyderabad traffic police believes that awareness is more important than enforcement,” a traffic official explained.
On Tuesday, city police commissioner, Anjani Kumar, addressed 1,000 students in a school near Hyderguda. While speaking on road safety, he said Hyderabad should assert that every citizen is a police personnel and emphasized that students should insist that their parents follow traffic rules like wearing a helmet, tying their seat belt and following traffic discipline. He requested all school teachers and principals to educate the children about road safety and the value of life.
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