It has been a busy week for the Ahmedabad Traffic Police since the Gujarat government implemented the newly amended Motor Vehicles Act, as the traffic police is tasked with ensuring that the act is implemented properly and that traffic laws are followed by the public.
Tejas Patel, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic administration), spoke to The Indian Express about how the city has fared in the past one week and what challenges lie ahead for the traffic police.
What has been the response of Ahmedabad motorists since the implementation of the MV Act?
We have seen a positive change in the behaviour of the public towards traffic laws and more than 80% of motorists have been wearing helmets and seat belts. The violation has decreased up to three times just this week itself. We have seen a change in the public due to consistent traffic awareness campaigns carried out by us.
Has the Traffic Police faced any problem regarding the manpower and logistics while manning traffic?
No, at present the total strength of the traffic police staff is around 4,100, if we include the TRP (Traffic Reserve Police)jawans. So we are self sufficient at the moment, to manage the traffic needs.
What about traffic management in congested areas such as Pakwan chokdi, RTO intersection, Kalupur and other old city areas?
These areas have engineering issues, which are being looked into by the concerned department. For example, Pakwan chokdi is facing congestion due to the ongoing construction work at SG highway. Similarly, Kalupur has narrow roads and the traffic that runs through it is beyond the road capacity.
Since the Gujarat government has extended the deadline for wearing helmets as well as for acquiring PUC (Pollution Under control) certificates and high security registration plates, has the city traffic police adopted a softer approach towards all violations?
No, on the contrary, we will be strict towards other violations which are still active in the MV act. From next week onwards, our focus will be on offences such as wrong side driving and talking on the phone while driving. Our intent is to create awareness and not just charge penalties.
Is there any state model that the Ahmedabad Traffic Police would like to emulate?
We have been emulating the Bangalore model where there are separate police stations for traffic violations. Ahmedabad is the first city in Gujarat to have 14 dedicated police stations for traffic. Similarly, we would also like to emulate Delhi model for pay and parking system.