The number of vehicles challaned by the Delhi government’s Transport department has more than doubled this year. While the department issued 93,827 fines between January and December 2013, it issued 2,39,312 between January 1 and November 30 this year.
While violations of rules abound, most Delhi people have been pulled up for not wearing seat belts. The Transport department, with an enforcement staff of 150, checked 2,10,199 vehicles until November. Until October-end, 1,05,106 fines were issued to those driving without belts.
“Seat belts have to be worn not only by those sitting in the front seats of a car but also by those sitting at the back,” said special commissioner Satish Mathur. The central Motor Vehicle rules require passengers on the back seats also to wear seat belts.
Interestingly, the department challaned 4,548 drivers for rash and negligent driving until October — a fraction of the number of people caught without seat belts.
Transport expert and former director of Central Road Research Institute P K Sikdar, however, said, “It is not that people in Delhi have suddenly become unruly. Increased vigilance could be the reason behind the rise in the number of offenders caught. But vigilance has to be 24×7 and that cannot be done just by deploying persons.”
He said there has to be automated technology and invisible enforcement like in some developed countries. People should follow rules even when they are not stopped by policemen. “That will happen only if they are monitored round-the-clock and the fines reach their home.
Officials will intensify their checks only when they are pulled up by higher authorities.”
Sikdar also said it was hard to believe that only 4,548 people faced action for rash and negligent driving.
“There is rash and negligent driving in Delhi every moment. If about 1 lakh people have been caught for not wearing seat belts, 4-5 lakh should have been challaned for rash driving. But it is more convenient to challan those without seat belts,” he said.
Some people are found committing more than one violation and hence the number of challans issued is higher than the number of vehicles checked. While 55,526 vehicles were checked in 2013, 2,10,199 were stopped until this November.
More than 27,000 challans were issued to drivers without a valid license and 26,416 to those driving without valid pollution control certificates.
The number of heavy vehicles fined for overloading increased from 1,776 in 2013 to 4,102 until November 2014.
Between January and October this year, the Transport department hauled up 10,956 vehicles in no-parking areas and found 10,791 in violation of permits issued to them. There were 8,169 challans issued to vehicles without insurance and 4,565 vehicles failed to meet the vehicle fitness requirements.