[Solutions] Part 1: Better preventive checks and mechanisms

Ok. So as mentioned in my previous posts, lets stop discussing problems and start discussing solutions. My first step would be to embrace technology. Today, most of our traffic chaos are because of the following reasons –

  1. The public can get away with a crime.
  2. In the event of an accident, We have no logical way to find out who is the victim and who is culprit.
  3. Too much corruption on the roads.
  4. The current crime prevention mechanism (FINES) has proven to be way too ineffective.
  5. Too many vehicles and too few police men on the roads.

These are just a few pointers. If we really look into it there would be a lot more. But, most of them would call for one solution – Find and implement an effective mechanism to stop crime on the road by imposing stricter and harsher punishments. But how do we catch them? That’s where TECHNOLOGY comes into action.

Database of all licenses and vehicles

Now, this is the easiest of the lot. I guess the RTO would already have a database already. If not in digital format, at least in paper files. The first step would be to consolidate this into a single database. Now that we have all license numbers on the database, we can keep track of crimes committed by drivers.

Step up fines and make it difficult

Step up the fines. Most of the penalty fine rates prevailing today seem so cheap that anybody can afford them. Hike them. Also, do not let police officers to collect the fines. The police officers who stop the vehicle should sieze the driver’s license and then ask him to pay the fine at any nationalized bank and then go to the traffic police station and present the chellan to get back his driving license. Sounds improbable? It works perfectly fine in Kolkata. Why wouldn’t it work in rest of India?

Ticketing on Licenses

Don’t stop at fines. Introduce Ticketing mechanism. Along with the fine, the driver would be issued a ticket. If a driver gets more than 6 tickets in a year, then he will have to take a retest to get his license back. If he he gets more than 6 years per year for more than 2 years, then his license will be canceled.

Cameras on signals

Now, this could be a costly proposal. We need cameras on all signals to record redlight jumpers. We could have a cheaper alternative to this. We will discuss that in another post later in this series.

Unless we catch criminals red-handed wouldn’t be able to establish their crime. Also, unless we have a system in place, we cannot really bring about any change. If the public has to drive properly, they are not going to do it with choice. They will do it only if they are afraid of the punishment. Today, every driver on the road knows that even if he jumps the signal. There is always the chance of him getting away with it. One driver can commit any number of crimes and still be let free on the streets to commit more crimes.

Technology would help us categorise and keep track of city traffic crimes and help us solve most of the problems we have today as humans are performing the task. Humans mean emotions, corruption, laziness, lack of accountability etc.

Note: Pls dont be in a hurry to judge the solutions from just this post. Feel free to comment. But, It would make more sense once I complete the entire series. 

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  1. #1 by Vivek on October 15, 2007 - 6:38 pm

    Good points. No doubt these will prove effective IF implemented.

  2. #2 by http://driving-india.blogspot.com on October 29, 2007 - 3:11 pm

    Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as – blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

    This site http://driving-india.blogspot.com/ has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

    At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

    To watch the videos, interested readers may visit: http://driving-india.blogspot.com/

    The videos cover the following topics:

    Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
    Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
    Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
    Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
    Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
    Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
    Video 7: Merging with the Main road
    Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
    Video 9: Never Cut Corners
    Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
    Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
    Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
    Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
    Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
    Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
    Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
    Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

    Many thanks

  3. #3 by Karthik on January 17, 2008 - 5:39 pm

    Hi,

    Nice blog. I just hope you write something about the traffic on Sardar Patel Road, especially near IIT and Madhya Kailash. It is such a chaos there.

    Awaiting your article on that.

    Karthik

  4. #4 by Balaji on February 11, 2008 - 2:33 pm

    I have an idea, print a sticker at the back of your car or bike saying “I FOLLOW TRAFFIC RULES. DO YOU?” This will atleast remind everyone that there are people who follow traffic rules and they will too.

    Amazing initiative. Nice Blog !

  5. #5 by Muthu Kumaran on April 2, 2008 - 8:25 am

    Hi…nice stuff!

    Could you please help advising me to treat a offender of traffic rule (s)? I love to be a responsibe driver on roads. I drive two-wheeler, and i love to respect traffic rules and regulations.

    Most of times in chennai roads, when i wait for green signal, i found other drivers pushing me to jump stop signal, they will do this by honking horns, use indisciplinary languages, even the vechicles at back collide my vehicle (an experience i had with a MTC bus driver @ teynampet signal @ noon). I was tired saying and explaining the road discipline, all will only end up with a quarral and finally i was peaceless. What can i do when it happens me the next time? How can i get the offender caught at law? and how should i take such a situation?

    Please guide me with your valuable points.

    Thanks
    Muthu Kumaran

  6. #6 by Shankar Ram on June 12, 2008 - 5:45 am

    Nice blog. Could really see your passion to find solutions to Chennai Traffic. I am with you.

    No point in us just sitting in a/c rooms in front of computers discussing the problem.

    Lets go to the field and work. If you can line up a few like minded citizens, we can go and talk to the Police.

    I have once met Mr. Sathiamurty, DCP Central in connection with suggestions for traffic. He appeared receptive. I can arrange a meeting with him.

  7. #7 by dhans on April 28, 2009 - 6:26 am

    i have already put a sticker in back of my car saying “caution: I obey trafic rules”

    i got a rear end once but i am obeying the traffic rules all the times.

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