24% traffic offenders fined for illegal parking

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24% traffic offenders fined for illegal parking

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MUMBAI: Twenty four percent of traffic offenders caught in the first two months of this year had parked their vehicles illegally while 15% jumped signals on city streets. The traffic police recorded 3.42 lakh offences and collected Rs 37.40 lakh in fines between January 1 and February 28. Helmetless riding (10%) and use of tinted glasses on vehicles (6%) were the other big violations found.

Experts say that as much as 20% of our road space, presently, is being used only for parking and that we need to save and optimize the use of space. "The civic corporation is considering a hike in parking charges. But only creating a few parking lots, where people will pay, is not going to help. Most parking spaces in the city are free. The authorities need to mark spaces and define them, before regulating," says Trupti Amritwar, urban designer and CEO of the Mumbai Environment & Social Network (MESN). "There has to be a proper inventory of parking spaces. For instance, a parking space should never be marked be close to a bus-stop or railway station as it would hit public transport. Similarly, if a lane is too narrow, it shouldn't be allocated for parking. The authorities need to involve local residents while formulating the plan. Defining a few zones for parking and giving out permits is another solution," she adds.

AV Shenoy of the Mumbai Transport Forum points out that two-wheeler riders tend to flout traffic rules the most. "Whether it's riding in the wrong direction on a one-way street or riding on a footpath to escape a traffic jam, motorcyclists do it. It's no wonder that over 35000 motorcyclists were held for helmetless riding in the first two months of this year," says Shenoy. The traffic police try to pass the buck to the BMC wherever two-wheeler riders are found parking on the footpaths. "An apt example is Girgaum Chowpatty where, on weekends, one can see rows of motorcycles parked right on the footpath. Where is the space left for a pedestrian to walk? The traffic police believe that their job is only regulating vehicular movement on the streets. They are not bothered about the movement of pedestrians and believe it's the BMC's job," he says.

Date of Article: 
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Source: 
The Times of India