Hyderabad: In November, Hyderabad gave the country a visual to remember, albeit not a sweet one. It was of a red car literally flying off a bridge, known as the Biodiversity flyover, and plunging several feet below, killing a woman on the spot. Reports said the man at the wheel was overspeeding, way beyond the limit set for the overpass, and he had one too many.

The ‘flying’ car incident is emblematic of the lack of discipline on the city’s roads, particularly Cyberabad, say traffic department officials. They say fines alone can’t reduce accidents and fatalities on the thoroughfares. The officials stressed the need to improve discipline among motorists and road infrastructure.

Data sourced from the Cyberabad Commissionerate through the Right to Information (RTI) Act shows that there has been no significant reduction in the number of traffic violations in the city’s IT hub between 2018 and 2019.

The figures, which were shared with anti-corruption activist, Sai Teja, show that helmetless riding continues to be the top motoring infraction. In 2018, cops took action against 12,69,721 helmetless bikers. The number has only come down to 10,29,471 this year.

Overspeeding is the second-most violation. Last year, 3,89,000 cases were slapped on thrill-seekers, which has come down to 3,44,635 this year.

In these two years, the police collected Rs 27 crore fine for overspeeding and dangerous driving and Rs 6 crore from bikers riding without a helmet.

Wrong parking, wrong side driving, triple riding, piloting the driver, driving taxis and auto without uniform are the other offences that were mostly fined in both years.

A total of 28,90,322 traffic violations were reported in 2018. The count has only reduced to 27,20,768 until December 10 this year.

On average, over 111 cases were fined in both years. In 2018, the commissionerate collected Rs 41 crore from traffic offenders. Though the fine collected so far in 2019 is Rs 24 crore, the commissionerate is yet to receive a pending amount of Rs 71 crore from the offenders.

Apart from imposing a fine, the traffic police last year started sending letters to companies whose employees were caught for drunk-driving. Earlier this year, the city even tried sending first-time traffic offenders to jail.

Officials said punitive actions are not enough to instil road discipline among motorists. Every time motorists find a wide road, they tend to speed, said Cyberabad Traffic DCP Vijay Kumar.

The top officer told NewsMeter: “Traffic violations in Cyberabad are still the same, and it has a long way to go. Infrastructure needs to be reframed on all roads. Whether it be an internal road or a major expressway, all roads should have uniform road infrastructure and signboards. Only uniformity and standardisation of roads can expect people to follow all the traffic rules and regulations.”

Offences such as sudden turn without indication, erratic braking, cause of obstruction due to pedestrian walkways are also increasing, said the commissionerate. These offences can be attributed to the lack of standardised road infrastructure, said officials.

Cyberabad has seen an alarming number of accidents in the last two years. On average, 200 accidents happen per month in this IT hub. According to the Cyberabad police, as many as 2,694 accidents were reported in 2019. About 720 people died in these mishaps, of which 221 were pedestrians.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad civic body, GHMC, has come up with a new scheme called Comprehensive Road Maintenance Program across all its seven zones in the city.

The DCP said, “At every zone, certain kilometres of road is taken up by private agencies for comprehensive maintenance. Over 700 kilometres of road in the city has been handed over to private parting for works including laying footpaths and marking signboards. I hope in the next year the situation would improve.”

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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