Introduce a levy on vehicles based on the road area covered by them to discourage people from buying very large vehicles or owning multiple vehicles!
These and other recommendations have now been proposed by the Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) to bring about changes in policy, enforcement on penalty structure and even road behaviour of motorists.
Structured into short, medium and long term recommendations, the report titled, ‘‘Management Of Government Services’ - Management of traffic to reduce congestion in Bangalore City’ has been prepared by a team comprising S Nayana Tara, Ajay Jain, Nishant, Shamiroh Tikoo and Tuhin Chatterjee and submitted to the Transport Department.
A copy of the report made available to Deccan Herald projects a grim picture of the once/erstwhile Garden City that is now crumbling under the exponential growth in vehicular population.
“Inching traffic and congestion are a daily phenomenon on all arterial roads, especially in peak hours. The cost of such state of affairs will be immense if one takes into account productive time lost on the roads, fuel wastage due to engine idling and emission of green house gases by vehicles leading to high pollution levels,” states the report.
Suggesting implementation of policy recommendations from limiting plying time of trucks and heavy trawlers, including container tractor trailers inside the City between 9 pm and 7 am.
On the enforcement and penalty structure, IIM has advocated having a higher pay scale for traffic police personnel to reduce corruption and improve motivation.
“One day off in the week should be made a rule so that constables on the road are not overworked” says the report and further mentions, introduction of a waiting period as a mode of punishment for traffic offenders.
“Since in most traffic and road related cases, financial penalties fail to act as a deterrent and are ineffective, a ‘waiting period’ needs to be introduced as an alternative form of punishment. e.g, for a signal jump, the offender should be made to park the vehicle at the road side and wait at least 30 mins before he/she is allowed to go. Similarly, for rash driving, the offender should be made to ‘wait’ for at least 1 hour” the report suggests.
Difficult to implement?
However, a top law enforcement official said while suggestions from expert institutions such as the IIM-B are welcome, the country has still a long long way to go, before implementing them.
“Policy changes are definitely needed to support good enforcement on roads. But, we need to look at sustainable changes.
“There are several challenges to implement these recommendations and convince all stake holders involved,” said the official.
*Major traffic congestion spots should be declared as red zones. Any violations in such spots should invoke severe penalties.
*Lane System needs to be enforced seriously. Lanes should be clearly demarcated on the road and any violations should be severely penalised.
*Speed governors need to be used to keep a track of the speed of two wheeler vehicles. The high speed of two wheeler vehicles cause a lot of traffic management problems and needs to be addressed immediately.
*Three wheeler autos needed to be put under some sort of regulations. Most of the auto's drive in a zigzag fashion causing problems to commuters. Also, most of them do not have side blinkers.
*To discourage the number of private vehicles in the city, the road tax structure should be modified and a higher tax should be charged for second car ownership.
*A stricter system of driving license issuance needs to be put into place. A written as well as practical test should be conducted before the license is issues. The test should be designed to test not only driving skills but also the awareness about the importance of lane discipline, traffic signs etc. Also, the ‘correct driving’ capabilities of vehicle drivers should be frequently checked, especially those that drive public vehicles such as buses, autos, taxis.
*Extensive training programmes for the traffic constables need to be put into place. Most of the times they themselves are unaware of the traffic rules and best traffic management practices which leads to lack of enforcement.
*The possibility of implementing alternate day driving rule needs to be explored. Under this system, vehicles with odd and even number plates would run on alternate days. This would have a direct impact on the traffic congestion in the city. But this might be a bit long drawn process, since any such rule would require political approval.