As per study conducted by a road safety education body Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in National Capital in Delhi in the year 2007 revealed that out of an estimated 146 million Road Traffic Violations (RTV) committed by motorized traffic every single day in the capital about 23 per cent were on account of faulty road engineering and environment .
In the year 2017 the estimated numbers of RTV increased to more than 200 million per day in capital. Nation wide it is estimated 6.2 billion RTV’s are committed by motorized vehicles daily in India and 1.5 billion are on account of faulty road conditions and traffic engineering.
“The recent Government contention towards the amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act is to improve the road safety in the country. While worldwide focus of road safety is the value or manifestation of an efficient and scientific traffic management system with three approaches including Engineering solutions, driver training, road user awareness and enforcement. But the focus of the present Motor Vehicle Act is on enforcement based on assumption that road environment and engineering solutions are in place “said Dr Roahit Baluja, President, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE).
“The Traffic police in Delhi and other parts of National Capital Region and other parts of the country is focusing and challenging on basis of administrative violations like not having Driving license, Pollution Control certificate and not carrying other related devices while focus should be on moving violations .What the traffic police is enforcing today is an easy approach rather than regulating traffic and checking moving traffic violations” said Dr Baluja.
“In the year 2017, the Supreme Court appointed committee on road safety directed police departments across India to link speeding, red light jumping, mobile phone usage, wrong side driving in the category of dangerous driving and enhance fines. Delhi Traffic police took the directions in right earnest resulting in collection of traffic fines reaching Rs 64.8 crore in the year 2017 and road accident fatalities reaching 1584. In the year 2018 Delhi Traffic police collected fines of Rs 105 crore but fatal road accident deaths went up to 1690. Thus, bursting the myth that higher fines will help reducing fatal road accidents. The other factors of road engineering should also be provided” said Dr Baluja.
“The definition of offences and their penalties in the amended MV Act as it is expected to opne flood gates to confusion, corruption and public harassment. Each driver or rider will become an ATM for the enforcement agencies. The amended section 184 redefines dangerous driving “dangerous Driving” and elaborates to include “A manner of driving which causes sense of alarm or distress to the occupants of vehicle, other road uses and persons near roads “ It does not specify what caused distress on road. Similarly, most of traffic signals in the capital and signages do not correspond to standard codes of practice. This will lead to most of drivers being caught unaware of violation” added Dr Baluja.
“Similarly, drunken driving violation the new MV Act has included any other test including laboratory test apart from ‘Breath analyzer” This will allow police office to prosecute violator by smelling the breath of the persons. Presently most of the breath analyzing machines /devices are faulty and give wrong reading” said Dr Baluja.
“Today focus of improving rad safety is directed towards implementation of legislation without realizing road and traffic engineering is rightful requirement of driving , the police needs to be given basic training to understand elements of traffic violations, The drivers need to be aware of codes of practice of traffic control devices and driving regulations. enforcement in such conditions will become handicapped unless overall corrective measures are undertaken” urged Dr Baluja