IN A bid to improve traffic discipline, the Mumbai Police traffic department is registering FIRs against motorists who jump red lights or leave their vehicles in no-parking areas in Mumbai.
The practice, started on October 1, has already seen nearly 40 motorists being booked under Section 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation) of the IPC.
“In cases such as illegal parking, getting into no-entry lanes and driving on the wrong side, every driver is taken to the nearest police station and an FIR registered against them,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Dipali Misarkar.
The police said that having an FIR against their name could be a future complication for motorists and therefore, act as a deterrent. “Earlier, we would just fine a motorist under the Motor Vehicles Act and let them off. But this practice will help us create more discipline among drivers,” said a senior police officer from the traffic department.
However, traffic experts said that to bring real change among drivers, motorists have to change their mindset first. Rohidas Dusar, a retired assistant commissioner of police (traffic), said: “Until people change their mentality, nothing is going to help. If every motorist follows traffic rules, then the number of accidents will also decrease. Statistics show that every 40 minute, there is an accident in Maharashtra.”
Meanwhile, after successfully managing to keep heavy vehicles off roads during rush hours, a fresh move has been initiated with Additional
Commissioner of Police Veeresh Prabhu last week issuing a notice restricting movement of three-wheeler commercial vehicles between 5 pm and 9 pm, as a pilot project. Deputy Commissioner of Police Shashi Kumar Meena (Traffic, Suburbs) said: “Owing to the rapid increase in the number of three-wheeler commercial vehicles and their low speed, we have taken this step.”
The notice issued on October 16 stated: “Due to the closure of Delisle bridge and ongoing mega projects, necessary steps are being taken for the purpose of smooth movement of traffic and better traffic management. Plying of all light and medium commercial vehicles are restricted between 5-9 pm.”
The notification that was issued on a 30-day experimental basis restricted three-wheeler commercial vehicles from plying on Elphinstone bridge, Senapati Bapat Marg from Elphinstone Bridge to Rakhangi Chowk, Dr E Moses Road from Rakhangi Chowk to Mahalaxmi station and Keshavrao Khade Marg from Mahalaxmi station to Saath Rasta.
Meena said that the move is still on an experimental phase. “We are taking up a few roads at a time… we have seen improvement on the Western Express Highway since the time we restricted three-wheelers. If it has a greater impact on other roads as well, we would consider implementing it on a permanent basis.”
Kiosks to be set up for paying fines
With the recovery of fines from e-challans still very low, the traffic department of the Mumbai Police will now install kiosks where motorists can pay their fines.
In 2018, the department has managed to recover only 24.49 per cent of the total fines issued through e-challans.
Until October 18, the department has issued 22.85 lakh e-tickets, amounting to fines worth Rs 110 crore. Of this, the city traffic police has managed to clear 5.5 lakh e-tickets, recovering fines worth Rs 20.14 crore.
“To recover fines faster, we will install kiosks across the city, wherein traffic officials would stop vehicles randomly and check for outstanding fine using their Mumbai Traffic Police application machines. If they (motorists) have any unpaid dues, they would be asked to go the kiosk and pay the fine immediately either by cash or card,” said an official.
Traffic officials said they would start the process with a kiosk at the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link from the coming week.