A police sub-inspector was suspended in Panchmahal for forcing traffic violators do ‘sit-ups’ on the road and in Vadodara, over 20 cops faced challan for different violations as the newly amended Motor Vehicles Act was put in effect across Gujarat on Monday.
However, motorists in cities such as Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar were spared on Monday as police ‘looked the other way’ and focused on creating awareness on the first day of MV act implementation.
The sub-inspector identified as Manoj Damor from Kalol police station allegedly made three youths do sit-ups in the middle of a road on Monday morning for allegedly violating traffic norms. The video, shot Monday morning, shows three youths doing sit-ups as the PSI counts, and routine traffic moves alongside without any disruptions. Police officials officials said the three youths were riding on the roof of a car, for which they were punished in the middle of the road.
“We have suspended the PSI with immediate effect and a necessary inquiry will be initiated against him,” said Panchmahal Superintendent of Police Leena Patil.
Meanwhile, cities such as Ahmedabad and Vadodara saw slow implementation of the Motor Vehicles act on Monday.
In Vadodara, a total of 23 police personnel were fined Rs 24,000 in total for violating traffic rules, on the first day of implementation of the new norms. The drive was carried out at three spots in the city, including Pratapnagar Police headquarters, Akota police line and Police Bhavan specifically to check police personnel flouting traffic laws. Apart from 23 police personnel, common citizens as well bus drivers were fined today. A total fine of Rs 3,65,000 was imposed on Monday alone.
Commissioner of Police Anupamsinh Gahlaut said, “Day one of implementation was only for police personnel. We should be disciplined first and then only we can fine the common citizens. We are also making people aware about the traffic rules.” At 15 different places in the city, public announcement systems were also placed to make people aware of the various rules and violations.
In Rajkot, police issued challans to 240 persons and collected a total fine of Rs 1.14 lakh.
“In the morning session, we deployed 30 assistant sub-inspectors and head constables to do random checking of vehicles,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (traffic) BA Chavda told The Indian Express. “Teams had been deployed near government offices, on highways as well as in congested areas. Between 9 am and 1:30 pm, they detected around 240 cases of violations and collected fines worth Rs 1.14 lakh. Majority of cases were of not wearing helmets.”
The ACP clarified that the 240 cases of violations did not include those detected by 14 police stations in the city as well as e-challans issued by the control-room of Rajkot Eye-way, the extensive electronic surveillance system jointly set up by Rajkot city police and Rajkot municipal corporation. The surveillance network has more than 900 CCTV cameras, including those that can automatically recognise number plates of vehicles. The city police have been using this system to catch violators of traffic rules by posting e-challans generated by the system to addresses of vehicle owners.
“We shall get data of e-challans issued by around 9:30 pm and of cases detected by police stations late at night. Those who were fined by traffic police included a couple of drivers of Gujarat State Road Transport buses for not wearing their seat-belts,” ACP Chavda said.
However, in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, motorists were spared on Monday as police insisted that their aim was to create traffic awareness.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tejas Patel, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Traffic (administration) said, “Today, our main role was to aware people so instead of issuing challan, we have taken initiative to spread awareness regarding road safety and traffic norms. We only took action against those driving dangerously, such as underage driving, driving while using phone and overloading, the data of which we are compiling.”
The DCP said they had received “excellent response from Ahmedabad public”. “I think we saw today 90% compliance of traffic laws in all areas,” Patel said. “We made the people who did not comply with the traffic laws understand that in the next two-three days, we will ensure strict enforcement of the laws. The public had a perception that we were waiting to pounce on them but we did not do that and issued them a warning instead.”
In Surat, a total of 455 cases of traffic violations were registered and a total penalty of Rs 2.11 lakh was levied. The police also detained two vehicles during their inspection drives across the city.
Similarly, in Amreli, a total of 100 challans were issued and a total penalty of Rs 41,500 levied. Six vehicles were also detained by the police in the city area.
In Banaskantha, a total of 102 challans were issued and total penalty of Rs 45,000 levied. The police also detained 20 vehicles.