Even though Bengaluru was under lockdown for almost two months following a spike in COVID cases, the city's traffic police collected more money in fines this year till May 31, as compared to the previous year.
As per records of the traffic police, this year, till May 31, 2021, the traffic police have collected ₹58.9 crores in fines. The figures for 2020 stood at ₹99.5 crore in 2020, and in the year 2019, the amount collected was ₹89.1 crore. The highest fine collected by the Bengaluru Traffic Police was in the year 2017 at ₹ 112.3 crore.
Fines were issued for violating the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, the Karnataka Police (KP) Act, the Karnataka Traffic (KTC) Act, towing charges, and automation, reported The News Minute.
'We Were Able To Book More Violators'
Meanwhile, Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of PoliceTraffic, said that even though people were asked to stay at home, violations of lockdown rules were high.
"Since we didn't have much traffic management duties due to the lockdown, police were able to book more violations," he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Traffic, Bengaluru East division, Shantharaj stated that lockdowns and traffic violations are mutually exclusive. "During the lockdowns, even though vehicle density was less, vehicles involved in exempted activities and other commercial purposes were on the roads. Invariably, violations were still recorded," he said.
Release Vehicles Seized For Violating COVID Norms
Last month, the Karnataka High Court permitted the police department to release over 1.5 lakh vehicles seized for violating COVID norms across the state. The court noted that since a large number of vehicles have been seized, it would be difficult for the police to find adequate space to park these vehicles.
As per data submitted to the court, 137,503 two-wheelers, 7,432 four-wheelers and 7,123 other vehicles have been seized in the state so far. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj ordered that such vehicles can be released to their owners after verification of documents along with an undertaking and deposit of fines.
"We have been asked to check documents of vehicles and also check if owners have any past violations against them. Many people have evaded paying fines have now been asked to pay up during these random checks," an officer posted in Bengaluru east division, on the condition of anonymity, told Hindustan Times.
Junior rank officers said that apart from the violations of lockdown norms, there were strict instructions from the higher officers to increase the random inspection of vehicles in the city, since January.