Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Sharp fall in number of ‘chatty’ motorists

13/6/2018

PUNE: A traffic police drive against motorists and two-wheeler riders using cellphones has resulted in confiscation of 1,570 driving licences in May, a significant drop as compared to the previous month, when 4,203 cases were registered.

But civic activists claimed that the drop in number of cases was due to people becoming ‘wiser’ and muting their calls while passing through chawks manned by police, only to resume their conversation later. However, the traffic police maintained that their drive has made people more aware of the dangers of talking while driving.

“During our drives across the city, we had seized 1,400 licences, which were forwarded to the Regional Transport Office for suspension. We seized another 170 subsequently which will be sent to the RTO soon. These licences will remain suspended for three months. Challans have been issued to those whose licences were confiscated.” deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Ashok Morale told pune-news.com.

Once the licence is seized, an online challan in the form of an SMS is sent to the traffic rule violator. In case a person whose licence has been suspended is nabbed by the police for driving without a licence, s/he is fined Rs 200, he said.

“We had registered 4,203 cases in April, but the number came down to 1,570 in May. There has definitely been an impact of the intensified drive and suspension of licences. Awareness of the people has increased too,” Morale said.

Civic activist Vivek Velankar said that the number of people using mobile phones while driving has not reduced but people have become “wiser” and do not use cellphones when they see a policeman. “There are very few policemen on the road and people know the ‘spots’ where they are likely to come across policemen. I have seen drivers muting their phones while approaching chowks manned by police and continuing with the calls later ,” he said.

Sanjay Raut, deputy road transport officer, Pune, said that all the licences received from the Pune Traffic Police have been suspended.

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