Obeying traffic rules, laws

Published at September 11, 2017 12:44 AM 0Comment(s)2342views


Obeying traffic rules, laws

Ahead of Eid festival, traffic cops were assisted by young volunteers to prevent the clogging of roads, a phenomenon now observed in Srinagar city before every major festive occasion.  One incident wherein a volunteer had an altercation with a rider says a lot about how things work at street level. A motorcycle rider was stopped by a volunteer for not wearing a helmet. The volunteer insisted that the rider be fined, but the latter resisted and said it was not his (volunteer’s) job to tell the traffic cops whom to fine. After a brief exchange of arguments, the rider says he was let free without any fine but with both a caveat and a contempt expressed by the man on duty. The traffic official had warned the rider to wear the helmet always; at the same time the official had expressed his resentment over volunteers being attached who pulled up almost everyone who was violating any traffic or safety rule. This minor incident not only says about the rampant violation of traffic rules but also about the lethargy that has been infecting the traffic management system. At most intersections traffic cops helplessness is understood as pulling up the violators could possibly exacerbate the problem and cause severe jams. As of now the only deterrent that traffic authorities have in their hands is challan or the authority to seize vehicles which is rarely used. But given the widespread violations, the deterrent value of challan has got significantly reduced to such an extent that violators tend to be fined rather than refrain from driving. When a penalty doesn’t work, it is unlikely that the alternative methods and ways like persuasion would. In the wake of safety drives in the past traffic authorities used persuasion and a positive method of giving incentives to those who obeyed and followed the rules. Unfortunately flouting the rules has become a behavioral issue and what is worse is that the multiplying factor is the mass number. The violators are akin to behave in such a way that they do not want to be stopped by the authorities or anyone else who tells them to go by the book of rules. There is a need to find a stronger deterrent that can restore the order on roads. Besides imposing the known penalties, traffic authorities must consider temporary suspension of licenses or even cancellation if the behavior of the violator does not change. Driving licenses of the violators should be tagged, and in the case of too many or repeated violations the licenses ought to be seized or cancelled. The violators not only harm themselves but are also responsible for harming others and put the traffic in disarray on roads that are shared by all.                

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