A section of the residents of the city, including academicians and businessmen, feel that the troll of the revised penalties for traffic violations, on the social media is outrageous. They said that the state government’s plan to slash it, on the lines of a similar move in Gujarat, is uncalled for.
A few citizens ask, if netizens can decide everything, what is the rational behind having our lawmakers — our MLAs, MLCs, MPs and Members of Rajya Sabha? “At a time when the nation is moving towards ‘one nation, one law’ and ‘one nation, one tax’ system, if each state has its own penalties, under the same law, it is a retrograde move,” they said.
“Those who oppose the revised penalties speak only about penalties. Why do they not speak about following the rules? Is it not better to follow the rules and not pay anything? The bonus of following the rules is road safety. A lot of lives will be saved, if all road users follow road safety rules. Is a penalty of Rs 1,000 bigger than a life?” they ask.
N Muthukumar, chairman of CII-Karnataka said that the loss of life in India due to road mishaps is 10 times more than in Europe and the US.
“While penalties may not be the best way to promote road safety, there is no doubt that we need to discipline road traffic. What is the alternative? The Road Transport department and the Police department officials have conducted various awareness campaigns since the past few decades. Various NGOs, trade bodies and also school and college students have participated in such awareness campaigns,” he pointed out.
Injuries also harm
N T Sridevi, a lecturer, said that the impact, mainly social and emotional, of accidents is grave.
“We usually speak of deaths due to accidents. But, at least ten folds of people are injured in road mishaps. What about the loss of limbs and other organs, due to accidents? Even if it a minor injury, does it not pain?” she asked.
N N Prahallada, a retired associate professor, said, “The new penalties are rational and appropriate. In recent years, vehicles are driven in a haphazard way, causing major and minor accidents, resulting in lot of problems. Traffic rules and police rules are violated as the penalties were in small amounts.”
Prahallada said, “Two-wheeler riders hesitate to use helmets. Most of them say, it is stuffy inside a helmet and it also harms their hairstyle. Is a bit of convenience and good hairstyle more valuable than one’s life? Everybody is in a hurry. So, signal jumps are a norm. They are putting not only their own lives in peril, but are harming others.”
“People have a fancy for not securing seat belts, violating one-way rules, etc. Ours is a spoilt society. Unless rules are strict, things will not improve. Only when penalties are heavy, people would follow them. All vehicle owners should keep their documents updated and follow the traffic rules to avoid penalty. Is it so difficult?” he asks.