Number Of Road Accidents Are The Lowest In 4 Years, What Has Chandigarh Done Right?
- In 2017, Chandigarh traffic police fined 6,000 drivers for drunk driving
- Police check posts around pubs and restaurants have helped nab drivers
- The traffic police department is also spreading awareness on road safety
New Delhi: A bulk of the road accidents in India happen in the cities, accounting for 43.2 per cent of total the road accidents in the country, every year. As per Transport Research Wing’s 2016 report on Road Accidents in India, 2.98 lakh road accidents took place on city’s roads, accounting for more than 80,000 deaths. Amidst India’s cities struggling to contain road accidents, Chandigarh is emerging to be a city with a difference.
In 2017, more than 6,000 drivers were fined for drunk driving in the city, the highest recorded by Chandigarh. Due to the adequate presence of traffic police in the city, motorists who engaged in drunk driving have been nabbed on time. The promptness of Chandigarh’s traffic police has also resulted in safer roads for the city, as only 107 road accident casualties have been recorded, the lowest in the city since 2013. The city’s traffic police department said that strictness of the department has ensured safer roads in the city.
We have upped our vigilance to ensure that there is adequate number of traffic police personnel across the city, especially in some of the busiest crossings. At night, when drunk driving is more frequent, we have made provisions for checkposts and additional traffic police personnel to check drivers for driving under influence and take necessary action, said Inspector Sita Devi, Inspector, Chandigarh Traffic Police.
Anti-drunk driving spots have been set up across the city. The traffic police department has also increased the number of hours of policing spots prone to drunk driving accidents. Daily policing these spots have led to more drivers driving under the influence of alcohol being caught. The traffic department had identified drunk driving as one of the leading causes of accidents in Chandigarh and realised that drunk driving could be curbed with timely interventions. It was decided that traffic heavy spots around the city would be monitored for longer hours daily to apprehend those driving under the influence of alcohol. The police have identified a few special zones, mostly around pubs, hotels, restaurants and malls where cases of drunk driving are frequent. In case a driver is found driving under the influence of alcohol, he/she is fined Rs 2,000 for a first time offence and can face up to six months in jail, as per the Motor Vehicles Act. Subsequent offences can lead to a fine of Rs 3,000 and up to two years in jail.
Due to our efforts, people will now think twice before driving under the influence of alcohol. This ensures not only safety for pedestrians but also drivers, as drunk driving accident cases have also seen drivers suffering from injuries and deaths, said Sita Devi.
But it is not simply vigilance that has brought about a sense of safety on Chandigarh’s roads. The city’s traffic police department is also taking steps to make people more aware about road safety. On February 4, the traffic police department in association with the students of National Institute of Nursing Education, PGIMER Chandigarh, organised a workshop which asked participants not to honk unnecessarily while driving, as it may cause distraction and result in accidents. About 150 students participated in the workshop. The city’s traffic police department is also highly active on social media, regularly posting creatives on its Twitter handle with information on safety regulations.
Chandigarh’s cohesive approach of combining effective policing and spreading awareness can be an effective model for other cities to follow to curtail road accidents, given the large number of road accidents across Indian cities every year.