Citizens bristle at new penalty system

 Telangana | Written by : Suryaa Desk Updated: Sat, Jul 08, 2017, 03:50 PM

Hyderabad: The penalty point system to improve road safety and reduce journey time through process-based enforcement against traffic violations, which would come into effect from August 1, has evoked mixed reactions from the citizens. The new rule would entail automatic suspension of driving licences once a citizen accumulates 12 penalty points.Most of the citizens think that Hyderabad is not ready for such a system while a few appreciate the idea with a rider: Please provide good roads. A few of them went a step further in suggesting that minus points should be given to the enforcing authorities for not providing good facilities in this innovative idea.

Reactions poured in from netizens as the Traffic police posted the new rule on its facebook page @HYDTP.“Are our roads good enough to drive over 40 km speed…? While introducing such system to bring traffic discipline is good, there should also be minus points for the authorities for bad roads. Action should also be taken against them. Bad roads, open drains and manholes make our life miserable,” said Anoop Nayyar, a business executive on the facebook page.

Hailing the move as an excellent idea, another citizen Khadeer Khan requested the RTA and other civic departments to widen the roads before implementing the point system as it was a major cause for traffic jams. Putting a task before the RTA and police department, Vinit Mehta, who works for an NGO said, “First create system for smooth flow of traffic.Implementing such a rule without creating infrastructure is a wrong move.”Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy said that the penalty point system is being introduced for the first time in India to inculcate discipline among commuters with a view to transforming Hyderabad city into a safe place for commuting and make driving a delightful experience. 

Once it is implemented, necessary changes can be made after reviewing the situation, he said.Wayward RTC buses came in for high criticism. Asking officials to rein in RTC buses, Roopson Sonu, accounts associate in a private company, said, “First take action against RTC bus drivers, who indulge in rash driving. They cross the signal and they don’t even use indicator while turning.”A challenging question was put by Neelam Prashant. He questioned as to what how the penalty points would be applied in case if his vehicle is driven by a friend and if he makes a traffic violation. Stating that the proposed rule was a good move, Jagan Guduru said, “rules should be applicable to all. I saw most of police personnel do not follow rules. They don’t even wear a helmet.”

A pharmacist Rohit Rao, who commutes from Gowlipura to Hitec City every day, said that this was an excellent move, but implementation was the key. A private employee A Lakshman Chowdary said, “First give us better roads then take fines from us.”Meanwhile, JAC of the Telangana State Auto Drivers Union demanded that the Transport department cancel the penalty point system. The JAC leaders alleged that it was very harsh on them for imposing 1 penalty point if fourth person boards the auto. Speaking to The Hans India, union leader A Sathi Reddy said, when there is no-parking policy in the state, penalty for wrong parking does not arise. He alleged that most of the CCTV cameras do not function and how would the police department monitor the violators. Another JAC leader B Venkatesham said that cancelling the driving licence would result in loss of livelihood of an auto driver.

The Transport department officials opined that the police department had taken a hasty decision on the implementation of the new rule. A top official told The Hans India that the police department was keen on introducing the penalty point system. The idea is good as it would result in motorists becoming disciplined but the city infrastructural facilities should be geared up for it.“Earlier, we thought of manual checking of traffic violations with the help of police personnel and record their violations instead of going for electronic tracking but there were some issues in that.” The official said one vehicle is used by entire family. It would be difficult to identify and hold the violator responsible. There would a driving licence of other state… can we cancel those licences, asked the official.