In short: Starting today, the RTO will engage professional photographers to report cases of traffic rule violations, imposing fine up to Rs. 2000.
Acting on the orders of Justice Radhakrishnan committee, the Odisha Government has decided to engage professional photographers to shoot at sight (with their camera of course) all traffic rule violators in the state.
Acting on the photographs, the RTO would serve notice on the vehicle owners and they would be penalized Rs 1,000 for first offence and Rs 2,000 for subsequent offences.
The driving license would also be cancelled for three months if the offender continues to violate traffic norms. These penalties would be applicable for all sorts of violation including usage of mobile phone while riding/driving, not wearing seat belt/ helmet etc.
The First was a Warning
About a year ago, the city police authorities had hinted at cancelling the licenses of habitual traffic offenders in the wake of rising traffic violations in Bhubaneswar.
The disturbing trend of mobile phone use during driving has gone up in Bhubaneswar in the past few months, going by the number of police crackdowns on violators.
Currently, the authorities have installed 114 closed circuit cameras at 28 inter-sections to regulate traffic as well as to catch traffic violators. On the basis of the footages, police have issued over 7,000 challans to people.
Use of mobile phones while driving is a major cause of accidental deaths and injuries in the city. Our motive is to dissuade people from using cell phones while driving. Imposition of the heavy fine is aimed at making people realize the hazardous impact of this practice.
Traffic Violations Kill People, 11 People at a Time
As per information provided by OSRTC, about 11 people lose their lives every day in the state because of accidents. Most of these accidents have been attributed to violation of traffic rules. About 3,995 people lost their lives and 12,000 sustained grave injuries in 9,680 road accidents during 2014-15.
While only 28 persons were fined in August, the figure went up to 199 in September and 265 in October this year. Police said 30 accidents (no casualty) were reported in the last four months due to use of mobile phones by bikers and drivers.
According to Motor Vehicle Act, even using mobile phone via hands-free devices such as bluetooth or earphones is illegal.
Many people are under the impression that they are not flouting the law if they use hands-free devices or take calls via bluetooth. This is equally hazardous and illegal. Even listening to music from a mobile phone (using earphones) while driving/riding can cause accidents.
Bikas Mohapatra, FPRA
The Deal – Rs. 50 per Photograph
The transport department will also reward the photographers. Each photographer will be paid Rs 50 per photograph. The hard copies of the photographs will have to be physically delivered to the RTO, Bhubaneswar (II). As per the RTO authorities, anyone can take the photograph but the visual must clearly establish the identity of the offender and the vehicle used. The funds for this will come from Odisha Road Safety Society.
Photojournalists pointed out that taking a picture in a digital camera costs them at least Rs 12 and said they might also be attacked by anti-social elements. Thus, the money that the RTO has decided to give them is very little, they said. As per the RTO officials, however, the payment rate may be increased if the plan becomes successful
A special enforcement drive has also been started for checking pollution certificates of private vehicles.
The transport department has started a special drive for checking pollution certificates of private vehicles to control pollution. The same kind of drive has also been launched in places such as Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Angul, Jharsugda, Berhampur, Balasore and Baripada.
Courtesy: Times of India, Odisha Sun Times, Orissa Post, The Telegraph