From Punishing Traffic Violators To Counseling Them, Jaipur’s Unique Approach To Improve Road Safety Is Reaping Results
- Over 18,000 people have been challaned in Jaipur in 2018
- Traffic police arranges for counseling sessions for traffic violators
- Traffic accidents came down by 31% in the first three months of 2018
New Delhi: No policemen, weekly accidents and consequent deaths. This was how pedestrians and drivers were accustomed to describing Jaipur’s Sanganer crossing. For years, Sanganer and several other crossings such as Bassi and Chaksu were notorious accident prone zones in the city, which pedestrians and drivers preferred to avoid, especially post evening hours. Sanganer, Bassi, Chaksu and several other notorious crossings today are witnessing pedestrian and driver traffic, thanks to Jaipur Traffic Police’s increased action against traffic rule violators, throughout the city.
In the first three months of 2018, 69 accident related deaths were recorded by the city traffic police, it is a decrease from the 99 deaths recorded between January and March 2017. So what changed within a year? To begin with, the Jaipur traffic police’s mobile fleet has not only apprehended violators but also made a database of traffic violators’ names and details. As per the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Jaipur, Lovely Katiyar, this is to ensure that repeat offenders can be apprehended and the fine/punishment imposed on them can be increased due to them being repeat offenders. The department challaned 18,000 people between January to March 2018, compared to only 6,000 between the same time period in 2017.
In the past one year we noticed that there were several repeat offenders who did not abide by traffic rules. On apprehending them for repeat offences, we imposed greater fine amounts on them. This was a major reason why many violators began respecting the traffic rules, said Lovely Katiyar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Jaipur
Taking solely the punishment approach does not work always and Jaipur’s traffic police department ensured that they did not undertake only a strict approach. Along with adequate policing across the city, the department also arranged for awareness campaigns and counseling sessions for repeat offenders to further understand the psyche behind not adhering traffic safety regulations. The sessions are conducted weekly and repeat offenders are told about how violating traffic rules puts them, their families and others’ families at risk, how violation of traffic rules are not suitable for adrenaline rush and so on. The department has also tied up with several schools in the city and students are being given lessons on basic road safety.
While strict policing can help us catch offenders, we are also looking to eradicate the problem of traffic violations. We are attempting to understand why people violate rules and how they can be convinced to stop. We initiated the school programmes because children must know about traffic rules and road safety regulations so that they can grow up to become responsible drivers and pedestrians, said Ms Katiyar.
Jaipur traffic police department’s unique approach to address road safety concerns has stood out and translated into a success story. The department’s approach of not merely punishing violators but also trying to change their habit of breaking traffic laws can be an effective tool for emulation by cities across India.