BENGALURU: Cases of traffic violations booked by Bengaluru Traffic Police have fallen significantly since last year. A comparison of the statistics of 2017 and 2018, until October 31, shows a 28 per cent dip in offences booked. BTP believes this to be a feather in their cap and say it is because of better regulation by them.
In 2017, the total offences booked across 39 categories of violations, came up to 99 lakh. In 2018, until a month ago, the official statistics show that the traffic police have booked only 71 lakh cases. The most number of violations booked last year, came up to 21 lakh, were for wrong parking. The figure has drastically come down to 10 lakh this year.
P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, there are lesser offences booked this year because of regulation, not enforcement. “Enforcement, that is levying a penalty, happens after the crime has been committed. We have changed our strategy by focusing on better regulation, wherein, more traffic police personnel are employed at interjunctions across the city.”
“There are at least three police personnel at each interjunction. This prevents violations as we don’t give riders and drivers any opportunity to break the law. It is better to prevent than punish,” he added.
Cases of riders and pillion riders riding without helmets have also seen a dip. Last year, there were 20 lakh cases booked (20,19,924) of riders not wearing a helmet but this year, the number came down to 14 lakh. As for pillion riders without helmets, the numbers have come down from 16 lakh to 11 lakh in a year.
However, according to M N Sreehari, a traffic expert, this is not due to better regulation but a shortage of traffic police persons in the city. “Bengaluru is expanding. There are 15,000 km of roads, 79 lakh vehicles and 48,000 junctions but not enough traffic police to monitor them. We have only around 35,00 traffic cops when the number should be 50,000 to 60,000. In suburban areas, nobody wears a helmet, for instance,” Sreehari said.
“They can book thousands of cases if they are stationed in the suburban areas but there is just not enough manpower for that. Their revenue would shoot up as well. The government must recruit more constables,” he added.