Tuesday, August 18, 2015

`State needs sobriety check posts'

Aug 18 2015 : The Times of India (Chandigarh)
Vibhor Mohan

Report Before HC Points Out Lacunae In Punjab's Traffic Management System
A proposal to set up `sobriety check posts' at toll plazas in Punjab to control the menace of drunken driving -with special focus on under-construction national and state highways where the incidence of accidents is higher -has been mooted. The recommendation was submitted to the Punjab and Haryana high court as part of a report on the traffic safety and traffic management in the state by In 2014, tra Punjab's traf in Punja f i c a dv i s e r 9,88,95 Navdeep Asija chall last week.

"The model of sobriety check posts has been successfully demonstrated in neighbouring Haryana and needs to be replicated. Under-construction stretches of national and state highways need strict vigil to improve road safety during the period the work is on. The court may direct state traffic police to make sure contractual provision or guidelines of the Indian Roads Congress and National Highways Authority of India to ensure `road safety during construction' in the state of Punjab," reads the report.

Traffic police dept understaffed

There are enough traf fic policemen manning the roads in Punjab. For example, Delhi has 30 traffic policemen per one lakh population, Chandigarh has 60, while Punjab has only 8. "It is found that the entire state traffic management in Punjab is being handled by 2,200 police personnel, which include officers at the rank of IG (traffic) and ADGP (traffic). The head office mainly covers rural areas and highways while the city traf fic is largely being managed by respective police commissionerates in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, and Amritsar under ACP (traffic) and at district level by SP (traffic)," says the report.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau report of 2012, police deployment (civil and armed) to handle all other crimes in Punjab is 274 police personal per lakh population, which is far above the national average.Apart from affecting proper traffic management, the absence of cops on roads results in traffic violators not being taken to task with issuance of challans.

"In the year 2014, state traffic police issued 9,88,958 traffic challan, means about 2,700 challan per day, ie, average 100 per day in each district and commissionerates by 2,200 police personnel, including constables and officers deployed on the road traffic duty by the state police. For effective enforcement and traffic management in Punjab, no service level benchmark or police force deployment standards are available," the report points out.

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