July 30, 2014
Tribune News Service
Gurgaon motorists, it seems, are on the wrong side of the law, and the road! Steering clear of the traffic rules, most motorists in the “premier” city believe in driving on the wrong side of the road. On an average, more than a 2,000 motorists are challaned for the offence per month.
As the traffic regulation and road safety case came up for resumed hearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, Justice Rajive Bhalla was told that 17,000 challans were issued for the offence from January 1 to July 10 this year.
Taking note of the assertion, Justice Bhalla observed the data was an indicator of the tendency to drive on the wrong side. “If 17,000 challans were issued, another 50,000 may not have been caught,” he observed. “All this shows that the entire city was driving on the wrong side.”
The judge said something was amiss in the policing, the roads, the road markings or the people. Not issuing challans for not wearing helmets and seat belts did not escape Justice Bhalla’s attention. After scanning the data, he observed that figures failed to indicate challaning for both the offences.
He said putting on helmets on seeing the traffic policemen was the norm in Gurgaon, as the authorities concerned were yet to apply brakes to the violations. Updates on the installation of CCTV cameras at strategic points were also sought.
Justice Bhalla had earlier asked Haryana to come out with a traffic management plan for Gurgaon. The High Court has zeroed in on Gurgaon in Haryana and Amritsar in Punjab as benchmarks. The directions issued for the two cities would eventually be made applicable to other cities of the two states after testing their efficacy. Justice Bhalla has already made it clear that the court wanted the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act be complied with in letter and spirit to ensure road safety.
The judge had also taken note of the fact that the authorities concerned in Gurgaon had not moved much beyond issuing challans to the traffic violators; and had directed the deputy commissioner “to ensure the vehicles are parked in the earmarked parking, whether within or outside public and private buildings, markets, malls and offices”.