Deekshith D V
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Jul 15: The traffic department has been enforcing the seat belt rule strictly, but despite its strenuous efforts, there are several four-wheeler drivers violating the law. The Motor Vehicle Act makes seat belt usage compulsory and violation attracts a fine of Rs 100.
It is no secret that quite a few drivers put on the seat belt only when they see the traffic cops. In an attempt to crack down on this violators, the traffic department has also installed CCTV cameras to pinpoint such cases.
As per the data available with the traffic department, from March 20, 2015, when the rule began to be strictly enforced, a total of 449 cases were registered in that month alone, with fines amounting to Rs 44,900.
In the month of April, 1,236 cases were registered which netted fines amounting to Rs 1,23,600. In May, 1,145 cases of violation were registered with fines amounting to Rs 1,14,500 and in June, 1,337 cases were registered with Rs 1,33,700 collected as fines.
Altogether, 4,167 cases of violation have been registered until June end, with a total fine of Rs 4,16,700.
The traffic department is now said to be registering cases of violation through the CCTV footage placed at various strategic points.
Speaking to Daijiworld, Udaya Nayak, ACP (traffic) said that number of registered cases has increased as the compulsory seat belt rule is being strictly enforced throughout the city.
Speaking to Daijiworld, John Pais, a resident of Pandeshwar, said, "Wearing of the seat belt should be made compulsory. What is the point in having a law which is not implemented? I have witnessed many of the drivers not wearing a seat belts at all. Why else do they have seat belts in cars and why does the law say that seat belts should be worn? People are not serious and do not realize the importance of the seat belt."
Shrikant, a resident of the city, felt that people are not aware about the law and hence it is being violated.
Ridiculing the system of compulsory seat belt, Nagaraj (name changed) said, "It is not necessary in the city since the heavy traffic makes it impossible to go above 30 km per hour."
Shrinivas, an elderly citizen, said, "Seat belts are safe since they can prevent injuries during an accident. In different types of research, it has been found that many passengers’ lives were saved as they were wearing seat belts during accidents. Even though there is a rule, many people only wear the seat belt when they see police personnel."
NRIs from this region who make short visits to their hometown have been bemused by the seat belt rule due to lack of awareness. A law-abiding Dubai-based NRI, told daijiworld that when he had recently visited Mangaluru, he was stopped by the traffic cop and asked to pay the fine for not wearing seat belt. He paid it, but at the time said that he was not aware of the rule being enforced in Mangaluru.
Though both passenger and driver are supposed to put on the seat belts, the traffic department is presently penalizing only the drivers for violating the rule.