With over 1.61 lakh cases of helmetless riding registered in capital city Bengaluru alone, the Karnataka Transport Department has instructed officials to enforce related laws like suspending driving licenses of violators for three months, apart from collecting fines.
At least 99,034 riders and 62,146 pillions have been penalised since September 13 with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions being withdrawn in phases. While over Rs 3.71 crore has been collected as fine from riders for helmetless riding, fines of more than Rs 2.34 crore have been collected from pillion riders for the same.
Further, the statistics released by the Bengaluru City Traffic Police indicate a steady rise in the number of cases on a weekly basis. While 16,343 riders were caught for not wearing helmets between September 13 and 19, the same has grown 33,660 between October 11 and 17, indicating a 33 per cent rise.
Marginal increase in traffic fines collected as #Bengaluru traffic police collect Rs 4.44 cr as penalty from violators between Oct 11 and 17. The same was Rs 4.02 cr from Oct 4 to 10. Over 2 lakh violations have been booked this month already. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/A4ZTnDNuom
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) October 20, 2020
When contacted, a senior officer said, “We have been deploying more personnel on duty depending on areas with higher traffic density and more violations noted as per the records. In the wake of the ongoing pandemic situations, we are focusing now on contactless enforcement where challans will be issued online than stopping offenders at the spot.”
The officer added that motorists have become more careless even during the days. “Many feel that they can get away by wearing only masks now. However, officers are noting down all violations. Violations are noted by officers in the traffic control room as well, from CCTV cameras placed at key junctions,” he explained.
Meanwhile, people who fail to wear helmets across the state could now face a driving license suspension for three months, as per the amended laws in place since September 2019, a transport department official said. According to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, a fine of Rs 500 (reduced from Rs 1,000 by Karnataka) will also be levied on such violators.
“While the new Act has been effective from September 1 last year, we have observed lapses in the enforcement of the rule. An internal notification has been sent to officials to ensure better enforcement. The same was also recommended by a Supreme Court-appointed committee for road safety in a video conference held last week,” the transport official said.
The BTP has collected over Rs 12.97 crore since September 23 from traffic law violators in Bengaluru under 80 different types of offenses including the use of mobile phones while driving/riding, jumping traffic signals, breaching ‘no-entry’ signs, wheeling, and wrong parking among others.
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