[Solutions] Part 1: Better preventive checks and mechanisms

11 10 2007

Ok. So as mentioned in my previous posts, lets stop discussing problems and start discussing solutions. My first step would be to embrace technology. Today, most of our traffic chaos are because of the following reasons –

  1. The public can get away with a crime.
  2. In the event of an accident, We have no logical way to find out who is the victim and who is culprit.
  3. Too much corruption on the roads.
  4. The current crime prevention mechanism (FINES) has proven to be way too ineffective.
  5. Too many vehicles and too few police men on the roads.

These are just a few pointers. If we really look into it there would be a lot more. But, most of them would call for one solution – Find and implement an effective mechanism to stop crime on the road by imposing stricter and harsher punishments. But how do we catch them? That’s where TECHNOLOGY comes into action.

Database of all licenses and vehicles

Now, this is the easiest of the lot. I guess the RTO would already have a database already. If not in digital format, at least in paper files. The first step would be to consolidate this into a single database. Now that we have all license numbers on the database, we can keep track of crimes committed by drivers.

Step up fines and make it difficult

Step up the fines. Most of the penalty fine rates prevailing today seem so cheap that anybody can afford them. Hike them. Also, do not let police officers to collect the fines. The police officers who stop the vehicle should sieze the driver’s license and then ask him to pay the fine at any nationalized bank and then go to the traffic police station and present the chellan to get back his driving license. Sounds improbable? It works perfectly fine in Kolkata. Why wouldn’t it work in rest of India?

Ticketing on Licenses

Don’t stop at fines. Introduce Ticketing mechanism. Along with the fine, the driver would be issued a ticket. If a driver gets more than 6 tickets in a year, then he will have to take a retest to get his license back. If he he gets more than 6 years per year for more than 2 years, then his license will be canceled.

Cameras on signals

Now, this could be a costly proposal. We need cameras on all signals to record redlight jumpers. We could have a cheaper alternative to this. We will discuss that in another post later in this series.

Unless we catch criminals red-handed wouldn’t be able to establish their crime. Also, unless we have a system in place, we cannot really bring about any change. If the public has to drive properly, they are not going to do it with choice. They will do it only if they are afraid of the punishment. Today, every driver on the road knows that even if he jumps the signal. There is always the chance of him getting away with it. One driver can commit any number of crimes and still be let free on the streets to commit more crimes.

Technology would help us categorise and keep track of city traffic crimes and help us solve most of the problems we have today as humans are performing the task. Humans mean emotions, corruption, laziness, lack of accountability etc.

Note: Pls dont be in a hurry to judge the solutions from just this post. Feel free to comment. But, It would make more sense once I complete the entire series.