Two-wheeler riders commit the highest number of parking offences; greatest flouters of parking norms, writes Gajanan Khergamker
For a city as crowded as Mumbai, where the rate of influx of migrants into the city far exceed those moving out and vehicle sales continue unabated, despite a dearth in civic resources, ‘parking’ remains a very pressing issue. Lack of parking space has always been a problem in the city and double and triple parking aren’t uncommon sight. Rules are flouted, sadly, as a norm.
When it comes to committing parking offences and flouting parking norms, ruling the roost are none other than two-wheeler riders.
Most violations by two-wheeler riders
An RTI application filed by activist Chetan Kothari earlier this month revealed most of traffic rule violations take place at the hands of two-wheeler riders.
According to the reply received by the activist, out of the 2.12 lakh parking offences recorded this year, 48 per cent involved motorcyclists, fetching the government over Rs one crore in fines.
Close on their heels, were the four-wheeler drivers with 30 per cent booked for breaking traffic rules and simultaneously adding Rs 61 lakh in fines.
Surprisingly, only five BEST buses were booked for flouting rules and had the least number of offences recorded against their names. Experts blame this on not having enough parking spaces in the city despite thousands of vehicles being added to the city roads every day.
Other than just flouting parking rules, in recent times, motorcyclist have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Right from speeding, assaulting, breaking traffic signals, riding in the wrong lane to drunk drivings, most road mishaps had a motorcyclist involved.
A couple of month back, a police constable was knocked down by a speeding biker in Borivli. The drunk rider had rammed his motorcycle onto the constable who posted for election bandobast. The constable in question hit his head on the ground from the impact while the 18-year-old drunk motorcyclist tried to escape from the spot but was nabbed by other policemen on duty. Incidentally, the motorcyclist didn’t even have licence on him at that moment.
In another incident, a 35-year-old, reportedly, had a miscarriage after being trashed by a motorcyclist and his family members. According to the victim, a riding motorcyclist lost control and hit her, following which she chided him for failing to take care.
Reportedly, the motorcyclist lost his cool and, alighting from his vehicle, embarked on giving her a sound thrashing.
He was also joined in by his relatives in trashing the lady. The victim, who had conceived six years into marriage, after opting to have a test tube baby, suffered a miscarriage. The assaulters fled the scene after beating up the woman. One of the accused was later arrested by the police.
Reckless riding by underaged drivers
Reckless riding, particularly by those underaged, contributes heavily to traffic violations. Just last year, a 21-year-old college student was killed after a speeding bike rammed into her in front of her college in Tamil Nadu.
The biker was a 15-year-old boy. Then, back in Mumbai, the traffic police had, in a surprise check, cracked down on 942 two-wheeler riders for flouting various rules ranging from rash driving and lane cutting.
Last month, a 16-year-old was arrested for riding his vehicle onto a police constable at Dadar. The boy’s 30-year-old uncle was riding pillion on the bike when the boy decided to ride his father’s bike.
Many motorcyclists care poor little for norms and flout traffic rules quite regularly. Just a couple of days ago, a traffic constable was trashed by a biker after he was stopped for plying on JJ flyover. When the constable tried to stop the biker, his bike skidded injuring him and the pillion (a woman). The biker, along with the pillion, then proceeded to beat the traffic cop. Two persons atop a Scooty too stopped by to join in the violence.
All four of them fled the scene. CCTV footage revealed their vehicles’ registration numbers and they were nabbed soon after. The accused were booked for assaulting a government servant, obstructing a policeman from discharging his duties and for criminal intimidation. They were produced in a court on Saturday and released on bail.
Many bikers are often found plying on JJ flyover in spite of two-wheelers being banned on the flyover. And, not just civilians, police and traffic cops too, are among these ‘notorious’ bike riders.
Last month, a car knocked down a motorcyclist and the pillion rider atop the JJ flyover, seriously injuring the pillion. The biker and the pillion were police constables themselves! The car driver arranged for the injured constable to be sent to the hospital and was later arrested.
Bikers’ failure to follow law kills
Not wearing helmets is another offence that most of bikers commit without any fear for their life. Just recently a biker lost his life on the Mumbai –Bangalore flyover after he lost control of his speeding bike and rammed into a stone on the side of the road. He died on the spot. The police said his life could have been saved had he been wearing a helmet.
In India, statistics reveal that almost 4,00,000 road accidents occur each year. WHO report predicts that by the year 2020, the major killer in India will be road accidents and will account to almost 5,46,000 deaths alone. In fact, the accident rate in India 35 per 1,000 vehicles is one of the highest in the world. And, it has been reported that most road accidents involve two-wheeler riders.
(With inputs from Prerna Pandey)
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