Hyderabad: The Telangana government was not implementing the revised fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, but all the discussion, debates and brouhaha over the enhanced fines appear to have had some impact on motorists in the city, though not in a major way.
Data provided by the Hyderabad Traffic Police indicates that the number of drunk driving cases, triple riding, using cell phone while driving, driving without seat belt and signal jumping etc. have dipped quite sharply in September as compared to August.
In August, 2204 persons were caught for drunk driving, while in September, the number was reduced to just 810. Cases booked for using mobile phones while driving were 1629 in August while only 285 cases were booked in September. Cases of jumping signals had come down from 593 to 364.
Traffic police attribute the dip in number of violations to the awareness programmes carried out by them on the revised penalties for various violations, specifically the Rs 10,000 fine for drunk driving.
“In the last weeks of August, we had carried out massive awareness campaigns by putting up big posters and holding meetings at public places. That seems to have worked though the increased fines were not implemented in September,” said K Babu Rao, DCP (Traffic).
On the other hand, though the State government is yet to take a final call on the implementation of traffic penalties, courts here have already started levying the new penalties. So far, around 20 persons caught for drunk driving were fined Rs 10,500 each by courts.
Anil Kumar, Additional Commissioner (Traffic), Hyderabad said as compared to previous months, there was a significant decrease in traffic violations, which means people were adhering to the laws.
“While compliance to traffic rules was previously around 75 per cent in the city, it is now around 90 per cent. In the older parts of the city, it has increased from 60 per cent to 75 per cent,” he said, adding that the compliance rate would further increase in the city in the coming months.
At the same time, some violations, like driving without helmets, carrying extra school children, zebra line crossing, driving in the opposite direction etc., registered an increase in September.