January 16th, 2016
Image Courtesy: ind
Road Safety Week in India is being celebrated from 11th January to the 17th of January this year. Every year various cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Baroda, Vadodara, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad and Chandigarh enthusiastically involve their citizens in awareness programmes for the sake of improving road safety standards.
Educational banners, road safety drives, safety films, guides and leaflets related to safe driving are all employed to educate the fraternity of drivers and pedestrians. This year Mumbai has kick-started the Road Safety Week by not only conducting awareness programmes, but also launching new schemes to ensure the safety of its road users.
On the 12th of January, the Chief Minister of Mumbai inaugurated alco-booths to reduce the drunken driving problem that exists in the city. Along with the implementation of the e-challan system of making online fine payments for traffic violations from the 12th of January, the new traffic plan involves investing capital for updated CCTV cameras and better hydraulic cranes.
Alco-booths. Alco-booths are machines that will detect the alcohol intake of a person and determine if the person is fit to drive. They look like vertical weighing machines that would require the person to blow into a straw which would then produce a signal of green or red to indicate whether the person has consumed more than the permissible limit of alcohol.
These booths are going to be installed at all places where a person could potentially have access alcohol. The Mumbai Traffic Police will collaborate with hotels and restaurants to set up these booths so that those who consume alcohol can be sure themselves as to whether they would be able to drive or not.
If they are not deemed fit to drive, and then the restaurant should make arrangements for a taxi to take them to their destination. E-challan. The e-challan system planned out for the city of Mumbai will undoubtedly benefit them by increasing transparency. But one of the biggest challenges faced by the Mumbai Traffic department is in the implementation of this programme.
Training of the constables is required to ensure proper handling of the e-challan devices. E-ticketing has already started in certain areas like Yari Road and Versova. A Senior Traffic Police Inspector said “Currently, the staff is under training for carrying out the responsibility of e-challan. Three police officers from each of the 34 divisions are being trained to use these machines in the initial stages of the project.
Cashless transactions will not only help in curbing the problem of corruption, but also enable us to keep a tallied version of all the fines collected.” New CCTV cameras and towing cranes for North-West Mumbai.
While the new traffic plan is coming into force with the onset of the Road Safety Week, Mumbai North-West will receive three new hydraulic cranes that will be fully equipped to tow heavy vehicles like SUVs and MUVs. Updated CCTV cameras are also going to be employed in a few months for identifying the traffic offender’s number plate on camera and directly debiting the required fine from the driver’s card. These new initiatives by the Mumbai Traffic Police is a welcome move for a city whose traffic department has always had a bad reputation.
Along with celebrating Road Safety Week with the usual activities, Mumbai has made the safety of citizens its highest priority by making the city’s traffic department more tech-savvy. Technology has previously been implemented successfully in various aspects of daily-life to improvise a pre-existing system. The Mumbai Traffic Department has identified its usefulness in improvising road safety and we hope that it delivers on its promises.
– Meghana Bhaskar