Enforcement, Education and Engineering (three Es) are the mantra for traffic management. In the backdrop of the instances of drag racing, wheeling and other dangerous stunts on public roads by young road users, it has become necessary to sit up and take notice of these new forms of rash, negligent and reckless driving.
For effective enforcement, one needs to press into service human resource and technology in equal measure. Ironically, it is the manpower in the traffic department of Bengaluru city police which is unable to match its technological capabilities. The city police can boast of a state-of-the-art Traffic Management Centre (TMC) which is a model for other cities in India.
TMC monitors traffic in the city and its cameras have the capability to zoom in and capture the number plates of vehicles committing crime or other traffic violations. But there is a huge manpower shortage for enforcing the Motor Vehicle Act and Rules.
Massive additional sanctions are the need of the hour. Educating people on road safety through pamphlets, hoardings, traffic education to students and short films with the focus on the dangers of drag racing and the like should be undertaken. Bengaluru police who have successfully exploited the social media to communicate with citizens and fight crime should use it to highlight the dangers of stunts being performed on public roads.
While sponsorship helps in these efforts, substantial budget allocations are necessary to undertake road safety education so as to reach all sections of society. While CCTV cameras are sought to be used, it is sad that they become nonfunctional at critical times.
Traffic police, in partnership with Janaagraha recently launched an app, “Public Eye”. Proactive steps to empower citizen volunteers to click pictures of road users violating road safety and upload it to the TMC would go a long way. There is no deterrence against law breakers than an alert and empowered citizen.