Shillong marks an increase of 80 % in traffic conviction in 20 months
SHILLONG: Rash driving, poor traffic etiquette and traffic violation are all but everyday terms any Shillong commuter is familiar with.
A rise in the number of even more rash drivers should come as no surprise. It is also more or less an everyday scene to find someone being held up by the police at the side of the road over certain violations of the traffic rules. Traffic violation is becoming a great problem in Shillong for it could affect anyone at any misfortune time.
Taking a look at the statistics provided by the Shillong Traffic Branch, it was recorded that in 2015, a total of 4 cases have been booked under the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act and the number shot up to 26 in 2016 alone.
The number has tripled from that of last year's and we are just in the month of October.
In line with this, strict and stern actions have been initiated against erring drivers by the Shillong Traffic Police as is noticed in several cases where traffic violators found driving under the influence of alcohol have been arrested, impounded and suspended from driving for a period of six months.
Meanwhile, adopting a softer approach towards traffic violators (excluding drunk drivers), the STP have come up with a brilliant plan to infringe upon a drivers a sense of responsibility and discipline by making them sit for a two-hour counseling session once or twice a month.
"We have embarked upon a two hour course twice a month for traffic violators as we don't just want to fine and let them go (traffic violators) but we want to them to learn, understand and implement it to make our roads safer," said the Superintendent of Police, M. Kharkrang recently, further adding, "We collect the violators throughout the week and counsel them twice a month and the number is usually above 100, "Traffic violation is not a criminal offense but it could have dire consequence for someone."
Surely, the efforts of Shillong traffic police have been noted as innovative and original in its attempt to help diagnose the problem of ignorance and lack of traffic conduct through counselling.
Counselling sessions for traffic violators have been initiated with a total number of 33 in East Khasi Hills in which a staggering number of 1273 individuals have attended till date. The idea of this initiative was to provide awareness and ensure that people are aware that road safety comes first in driving.
Despite the number of counselling sessions and frequent checking being conducted, the problem however, continues to persist.
What seems to be the need of the hour is for even stringent measures for we are approaching pandemic levels in traffic rules violations.
(By Auswyn Winter Japang)