The Salman Khan case has brought into limelight all that is wrong with the traffic laws and enforcement of the country. Just when it seemed as though the traffic status of the country shall forevermore be in a state of disarray and doom, the untold example of Chandigarh shone in our faces. The model that they run by must be upheld by the entire country, if the citizens wish to see formidable change.
The Chandigarh traffic police model has a lot to teach – especially in lieu of the recent Salman Khan case – on how traffic violations need to be dealt with and the role of the traffic police.
If one were to reflect on the moral from the Salman Khan story and how it has panned out so far, the learning would be to impose strictly the rules pertaining to traffic violations without succumbing to any kind of pressure while enforcing them.
A city which stands by this maxim is Chandigarh, the garden city of India.
Photo source: http://chandigarhtourism.gov.in/
Such is the level of enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to traffic, and a morbid fear of facing the consequences of violation, that as soon as the drivers from other parts of Punjab (who are otherwise known for their notorious driving, especially high beam driving during the nights) enter Chandigarh, they see to it that no rules and regulations are violated.
Chandigarh has been able to instill a sense of following traffic regulations and the fear of penalties of violation in its citizens, owing to the fact that the performance appraisals of the Chandigarh Traffic Police personnel have been linked in one way or the other to their ability to impose fines for traffic violations. This has meant that one shall not be able to pay underhand to escape the penalties.
In the year 2014, the Chandigarh Traffic Police collected a whopping Rs. 11.75 crore as fine for traffic violations.
Photo source: Chandigarhmetro.com
This is the highest amount of revenue collected by them in any year. The massive revenue has come from a total of 3.03 lakh vehicles penalized for various traffic violations in Chandigarh at various points. A total of 3.5 lakh challans were issued by the the Chandigarh Traffic Police during the year 2014. Of these, 47,000 challans were issued for jumping of red lights and 38,000 were issued for zebra crossing violations, i.e. stopping the vehicle on the zebra crossing when the signal was red.
The Chandigarh Traffic Police needs to be praised for enforcing the rights of the pedestrians on the roads to the point that this single step has been able to control road rage to a large extent.
Photo source: Chandigarh police facebook page
Buoyed by their success in 2014, this year the Chandigarh Traffic Police has brought in another element of novelty in order to instill traffic rules. Now, if a resident violates the traffic rules, apart from just paying a fine, he would also need to attend an hour long traffic class to get sensitized about the traffic rules and regulations in the city. This has been made mandatory for getting the challans cleared.
Once a traffic violator is booked, his or her documents are deposited in the district court which they are entitled to receive one month after the date of the challan.
but not before the violator sits for an hour long class conducted by the Chandigarh Traffic Police personnel.
Photo source: flickr.com/chandigarhtrafficpolice
For a country like ours, where driving licenses can be obtained without going through the prescribed norms, this initiative of the Chandigarh Traffic Police indeed is a monumental step forward in instilling a sense of sincerity about obeying the traffic rules.
One only hopes that other cities in the country also come forward and emulate this step, as the roads in India are like jungles, and till the traffic police does not adopt the role of a controller, road rage shall continue to happen and poor people will continue to be at the receiving end.