Bhubaneswar: The traffic cops are finding it tough to manage the city’s traffic even after implementation of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019.
Orissa POST Tuesday took stock of the traffic management at places like Vani Vihar Square, Rupalii Square, Big Bazaar Square and the Rabindra Mandap Square to Airport Square in Bhubaneswar after the amended act came into force September 1.
Many motorists and pedestrians were found violating traffic rules Tuesday. Though the traffic police are creating awareness among the commuters at some places and some others were seen taking rest in other areas. Notably, the traffic cops are not imposing penalties on violators on the occasion of Ganesh Puja and Nuakhai festivities, said sources, adding the violators will be fined from Thursday onwards.
Many people were seen driving without helmets, driving on the wrong side and not stopping at zebra crossings. As per reports, cops are equipped with body cameras as the department is expecting more arguments with traffic cops after introduction of revised traffic penalties.
The steps are being undertaken to maintain transparency on actions by the department and to maintain proof of traffic violations by erring citizens. The Commissionerate Police have also introduced drone surveillance on the road from Ravindra Mandap to Airport which will be declared a ‘No Overtaking Zone.’
The department is also planning to introduce aerial surveillance in other areas of the city after reviewing its success.
Drone cameras come with the added advantage of being able to monitor actions of motorists and can also detect violators.
The move is to ensure road discipline and overcome the problems created by traffic congestion. This is likely to play a crucial role in ensuring that people stick to their respective lanes as there will be fines for violating the ‘no overtaking’ rule.
Meanwhile, some people said the traffic department is neglecting pedestrians and cyclists.
Sriram Singh Rattan, a cyclist, said, “If the ‘Right to Walk’ had been mandatory on those who planned our cities, may be our roads would have looked different. The need for such a right has been raised before, but in a city where summer heat is high it can cause deaths. The time is ripe for Bhubaneswar to implement pedestrian rights (and duties including penalties for jaywalking) so that our urban planners are forced to think of wider footpaths, safe road-crossing spots and areas for pedestrians to rest etc.”
“It is only when driving becomes a high quality experience that the systems will truly integrate into a smart city and wean away car owners from roads,” he added.
Urban Planner Piyush Ranjan Rout said, “We are not living in societies like Singapore where every infrastructure is suitable to rule of the land that everyone is bound to follow. Here, people are wearing helmets and using seatbelts out of fear, but in reality they are trying to escape traffic rules. This means more than law we need to first ensure ground is ready to accommodate law.”
As per reports, the traffic police collected a fine of Rs 2.13 lakh from traffic rule violators on the first day of the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019.
Arindam Ganguly, OP