JAN 15 -
Every year, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) conducts various traffic awareness campaigns targeting drivers and pedestrians. During these campaigns, cases of traffic rule violations and the number of accidents decreases significantly. However, once such drives are over, drivers and pedestrians seem to revert to their old habits of disregarding road rules.
MTPD reports show that the number of accidents and fatalities decrease during campaigns like the traffic week, campaigns against
jaywalking and awareness campaigns promoting the use of seatbelts. Furthermore, fatalities have reduced by around 20 percent since the beginning of the anti-drunk driving campaign.
According to DSP Pawan Giri, spokesperson at the MTPD, over 80 percent of accidents are results of traffic rule violations by drivers and pedestrians while the remaining 20 percent is caused by poor infrastructure. Among 352 reports of accidents registered in December, drivers were responsible for over 200 cases while the negligence of pedestrians was responsible for 71 accidents. The accident chart for the 2011/12 fiscal year shows that among 5,096 accidents, the negligence of drivers was responsible for 3,928 cases, pedestrians’ recklessness for 168 cases and poor infrastructure for 102 cases.
Last year, the MTPD conducted a month-long anti-jaywalking campaign, teaching pedestrians to use zebra-crossings and overhead bridges and follow traffic signals. Hundreds of negligent pedestrians were fined and detained briefly and made to promise that they would not repeat their mistake. Cases of jaywalking decreased to almost nil during the campaign. However, such cases are now abundant. It is not just pedestrians, vehicle operators too are guilty of the same. “Traffic rule violations will never end unless road users realise that rules are there for their own safety,” said DSP Giri.
According to the MTPD, complying with traffic regulations and upholding basic civic sense on the road can make travelling much easier, convenient and safer, curbing road accidents and lowering fatalities and injuries. Accident charts show that youth between the ages of 17 and 35 are responsible for over 70 percent of accidents. “It’s the tendency of the youth to feel proud for flouting rules,” said MTPD Chief DIG Upendra Kant Aryal.
Aryal stressed the need for a curriculum relating to traffic rules and civic sense from the school level itself to bring changes to the present scenario. He said that the traffic police’s effort alone cannot bring about significant changes. “We don’t see the presence of traffic police on the road in many developed countries as people understand that rules are there for their own safety. However, it’s totally the reverse in our country,” Aryal observed.
The MTPD cannot carry out such awareness campaign very often as it is reeling under a severe human resource crunch, with personnel lacking even for day-to-day operations, said Aryal. Currently, around 1,050 traffic personnel have been deployed in the Valley, leaving one traffic police to manage 600 vehicles on average during peak hours and cover 1.65 km.
Posted on: 2013-01-15 08:18