The Mumbai Traffic Police is planning to increase the fine imposed on tankers for spilling water on roads. At present, the amount is Rs 100. The police have also started work on preparing a database of traffic rule violators in order to crack down on repeat offenders.
Since 2011, the traffic police have charged 21,532 vehicles under Section 202 of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rules for spilling water. During the same period, Rs 15.44 lakh was collected in fines.
“We act against water tankers as the water spilled on to the road makes the surface slippery and can result in accidents,” said Pratap Dighavkar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic. The traffic police either fine offenders Rs 100 on the spot or confiscate driving licences in case the drivers are unable to pay up. The driver then has to pay the fine at a local court within seven days and take his licence back.
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The present amount of fine is too little to serve as a deterrent, the police feel.
“The motor vehicles amendment Bill has steep fines for all offences. Once it comes into force, fines for spilling water will be increased,” Dighavkar said.
The traffic police are working on a proposal to be sent to the state government to increase fines for traffic violations in the city before the central Act comes into force. “We want fines for all major offences to go up so that no one thinks of committing a traffic violation. We will also propose steep fines for water tankers that spill water on roads,” said Inspector (Prosecution) T S Surulkar.
According to traffic police data, 2,603 vehicles have been charged with spilling water until April this year and Rs 1.93 lakh collected in fines. In contrast, 2014 saw 5,727 cases and collection of Rs 4.3 lakh in fines.
Inspector P A Repale of Mulund traffic division believes the BMC must crack down on errant water tanker suppliers. “The BMC has the power to cut off their water connection and impose a heavy fine. Water tankers carry out an essential service by supplying water to homes and hospitals, but those transporting the water don’t realise motorcycles riding behind them can skid in the water and fall,” he said.
Inspector Vijay Dhatrak of the D N Nagar traffic division added, “There are times when water spills because the surface of the road in uneven. But tanker owners should also take care to not overfill their vehicles.”