An attempt to Fix Traffic Violations – April, May and June 12

When asked about Traffic Signals, people of India will chorously shout

  • We don’t wait for the Green light. We go at Amber. Or even at Red most of the times.
  • There is no such thing as “No Entry”. Whether we enter or not depends on the presence of a cop.
  • Helmet? Why should I wear it? No, Never !!!
  • Speed limits? What are they? I’ve never heard of them.
  • Driving around without a license is my Hobby.

We can’t simply point at Traffic Police and put all blame on them, for they fail to punish each and every Violators, which is PRACTICALLY VERY HARD for them, given the current situation. Its the people’s mentality, which needs to be changed. But what is solution to fix these? We frankly don’t know.

But we are not going to ignore this problem and here is our Crazy attempt to bring in a change. Our attempt might not bring in a change in a month or two. It might probably take a couple of DECADES. But we do have hope, one day, things will change for good and we decided to strive hard to bring that day from a far future to a near future.

Here is our attempt

We are going to take photos/videos of traffic violations that we come across in our day to day life and report to Addl. Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Kilpauk, Chennai, to take action on the violators.

We filed our first complaint on May 18 with a dozen of photos capturing the moments of Traffic Violations. Our plan is to make a complaint every month with all the photos/video evidences.

May and June Captures

We upgraded our methods to Capturing Videos, as they provide more lively moving information than a dozen of pictures. Half a dozen videos are recorded in the month of May and June and complaints are sent appropriately.

Apart from written complaint sent to ACP (Traffic), the same complaints have been made in CCTP Facebook page too. But there is not response from the Police yet. HECK!!! Clear sign of failure on the part of Chennai Traffic Police.

Notable Incident

One day a Traffic Police enquired our volunteer on what / why he is recording and they had a small chat…

Police: “What were you recording?”

Volunteer: “Sir. No one is stopping @ the stop line, respecting the traffic signals. Is it right?”

“Yeah. Don’t you see? The signal is not working!!”

“hmm… I can very well see that sir. I guess that is why you are here. Wont you question the violators? Enfore the rules?”

Police: (was just starring with a kidding smile)

Volunteer: “Sir. Dont get angry on me. I am not at all here to complaint you. I would like to see things work the way they are supposed to be. Wont it be good to see everyone following road rules. Cant you do something about it?”

“Brother. I can understand your point. I will also be happy to see such things. But tell me something which is practical.”

“Sir. Everything becomes impractical only by us, irresponsible citizens… ”

(Police focuses on the road)

Volunteer: “I am sorry. I guess I am disturbing you while you are doing his duty. I am leaving.”

So, in the opinion of the Traffic Police, it became impractical for people to follow the rules. Incidents like this is like adding fuel to the fire in us. More videos to come in upcoming months, with extra one step of enquiring the status and progress of the complaints via RTI.

 

All videos are uploaded in our Youtube Portal and can be found @ our Youtube Channel

Traffic Violations in Guru Nanak College Signal, Velachery, Chennai

Traffic Violations in Guru Nanak College Signal, Velachery, Chennai

Further steps in reducing Traffic Violations and hence Accidents:

  1. An attempt to fix traffic violations – Part 2
  2. Traffic awareness campaign, Ramapuram
  3. Traffic Violation Pportal – Vision Zero for India

Credits

Thanks to Shrihari Sankaran for the permission to use his BULLET points, which was his answer to a questions in Quora (URL: http://qr.ae/pSEDV)

12 thoughts on “An attempt to Fix Traffic Violations – April, May and June

  1. Reply Benedict Manish Oct 13,2013 12:08 am

    I personally liked this topic as I am one the many affected by this. I stop in a signal even when I am the first in the signal, but I see my co-motorists pass me and park in front of me, raising their throttle to zoom past if they get a gap. I would associate various reasons to this both intrinsic and extrinsic.
    Intrinsic Factors:-
    a. I am least aware or bothered about traffic rules, coz I need not be aware of it and I will not be penalized. I break more than 3-4 laws in one day across 30 days in a month and 365 days in a year, which equals 1100 laws in a year and I get caught only in 2-3 in a year, and I have the luxury to either pay fine or pay bribe.

    Now the reason for such an attitude among licensed motorists is because the penalty is merely monetary in nature. It is only for D&D and few grave offences that the vehicle will be seized or the driver remanded.

    As a super way to over come this common attitude, the CCTP had come out with a beautiful solution, where the fine amount keeps increasing for successive violations and if the same violation is committed more than 3 times an endorsement would be made in the license. If this law was implemented effectively by the Traffic cops then, we should have either seen people becoming more responsible with the violations rate coming down or the no of license endorsements and cancellations increasing, both of which I doubt.

    Now if a kid is driving w/o license then the simple measure can be to seize the vehicle and the owner needs to appear in front of the SI and clear necessary dues and endorsing the vehicles RC, and if the same vehicle is caught for w/o license then the owner can be remanded under custody for few days.

    Extrinsic Factors:-
    a. I need to travel for more than 1 hour to reach my work place and the roads are damaged all along causing traffic jams. This makes me late to work, and hence I jump signals, or enter one ways or no entries, over speed etc

    b. I leave my house 1 hour ahead to reach my office which is about 6 kms away from home, but on route there is a Corporation lorry which collects garbage in the road and there are more than 4 bins in the same road. It takes more than 25mins to cross a 400m stretch. Now do you expect me to go slow and be cautious about traffic laws.

    c. I go to do a mobile recharge. The shop is more than 1 km from my home or work place. I take my car/bike and go to the shop. Now this commercial complex does not have parking slots, and I travel around looking for a parking slot which does not affect passers by and I am able to find some place which is also more than 1 km from this shop. Next time, will I be considered about the public who will get affected if I park at a busy road?

    d. I pay Rs. 20/- as a one way toll charge in OMR, and I spend more than 20mins each in the Tidel Park signal and the Sholinganallur Signal, then once the roads are relatively free, I increase my speed to 70kms per hour, and there stands a speed control unit waiting to catch me for the speed. Now my question is do they even have a process to determine the maximum speed limit for a particular zone? How well are these sign boards displayed for motorists to view and be cautioned?

    Do we have answers to all the above mentioned issues? YES we do have, but this is not an over night 1 department change or 1 individual change. This will happen only when all of us put our heads together to make things work. Yes cops have their part, but I too have my part as a responsible individual. Can I talk to my office and request for a change of work timings to avoid signals,if my office is not able to offer me that, then try to make them join this group and raise a voice.

    When 1 person shouts out a problem, its noise for everyone else. But if an organization shouts out the problem, then is a voice of every one.

    Good initiative guys

    • Reply saiy2k Nov 1,2013 10:39 pm

      Hi Benedict Manish,

      Great thoughts. You provided great insights here, with various very practical views of the problem. I wish people like you be in the place of Policy making (Politics). We would like to get in touch with you. It would be highly appreciated, If you could drop us a mail to grayfaceofindia@gmail.com

  2. Reply Anand Kumar Oct 15,2013 2:52 pm

    Good initiative. I would like to point out one more thing which is affecting the drivers especially two wheeler s. Many people doesn’t know what is the use of low beam lights and when to use the high beam. Most of the vehicles (including two wheeler s) drive in high beam lights. This will affect those who come in opposite direction. So people should use low beam high lights when in city limits. In high ways the should dim the lights 250m away when an vehicle comes in opposite.(I guess this the rule)

  3. Reply mohan sundar Oct 15,2013 6:21 pm

    This will not work. What do you expect police to do? They dont have owner’s latest address. RTOs are not connected to give info instantly. This will not solve the problem.

    • Reply saiy2k Nov 1,2013 10:46 pm

      Hi Mohan, Thanks for the comment. Of course, there are much practical difficulties, like the one that you stated. But we need a change right? and it should start somewhere right? It would be great, if you could share us a better solution.

  4. Reply mohan sundar Oct 15,2013 6:27 pm

    People have the wrong conception that severe punishments will reduce the crime.. that can reduce repeat crimes but not first time offenders. Look at rape for instance. Despite enacting severe punishment, it continues to happen daily somewhere or the other. So focus on prevention activities.
    RTO will not have latest address of owner, but insurance companies will have. Enact a rule that all insurance companies should provide an onsite service which will take registration number as input and latest address as output to the authorized user. Let police department or insurance authority can come up with a online portal to integrate al these. Irrespective of where it is insured, if someone gives reg number, it should give latest address. This will help to begin.

  5. Reply mohan sundar Oct 15,2013 6:32 pm

    Now coming to What can be done through RTI…

    Answer: Whatever exercise you did, to capture videos of violation of general public, should be done for MTC buses.
    MTC buses do not have any fear of trafic police or signal. He goes when the road is empty. He might not hit anyone, but someone following him in red might hit someone who crosses the road in green.
    They should correct themselves.
    Having said that MTC drivers violate most, it doesnt mean severe punishment such as suspension should be given to them…they are not at fault, their system is at fault.

  6. Reply mohan sundar Oct 15,2013 6:40 pm

    not sure, but I guess MTC rewards drives/conductors who does more trips/collections. They can reward for collection per trip, but if they reward for more number of trips, it encourages them to drive faster. RTI can be applied to find out if such rewards are there and then take it court to validate its need.
    Complaints can be sent on drivers who violate traffic signal and ask MTC to have a system to register that and accumulate. The drives should only be warned. Only repeated violaters should be say suspending for 2-3 day to start with. But all violations should be recorded and should add to driver’s performance and link with some incentive….
    Drivers should be motivated to follow traffic rules rather than penalizing for failure. Drivers have other issues such as bad road, heavily loaded bus, fatigue, etc. Blame should be on MTC management for not taking initiative to control this trend.

  7. Pingback: An attempt to fix Traffic violations – Part 2 ← Gray Face of India

  8. Reply saiy2k Nov 1,2013 10:53 pm

    Hi Mohan, Of course, If we keep finding the reason and keep following the trail, it would cover our whole government. We started a thread in our google groups @ https://groups.google.com/d/msg/grayfaceofindia/V0sSoZn_oJ8/02I0HvRF9UMJ

    Please participate in the discussion there.

  9. Reply Manmadh Apr 21,2015 12:18 pm

    In the neighboring state of Kerala traffic violations are recorded on camera and notice to pay fine are sent by post card to the violators. But that state has an excellent RTO database which is transparent and accessible to public.
    Incidences of speeding, signal jumping etc have come down drastically.
    Why is a larger state like TN not able to implement such a simple thing?

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