|About 30,000 cases were booked during 2006: official|
"The drive will be further intensified by deploying more traffic personnel"
VEHICLE CHECK: Traffic police personnel checking vehicles at Odiansalai in Puducherry on Saturday.
PUDUCHERRY: In spite of an intensive drive, with the burgeoning vehicle population, traffic violations are on the rise in Puducherry.
The enormity can be gauged by the fact that the Government had collected about Rs.26.5 lakh through court fine for various offences during 2006.
This whopping amount was collected despite a low conviction rate (read prosecution for imposing the fine). About 30,000 cases were booked during the period, and about 10,000 offenders were fined in the court.
The remaining cases are pending, Superintendent of Police (Traffic) S. Kuppusamy told The Hindu .
The violations include driving without a licence, improper parking, using mobile phone while driving, drunken driving and jumping red lines.
As most of the offenders get away without paying the fine because of the delay in prosecution, the traffic police, during the last two months, made it compulsory to produce the offenders before the magistrate on the day they were caught after filing a charge sheet, Mr. Kuppusamy said.
"From April, the offenders are produced before the court on the day of the offence. This was done except on Saturday and Sunday, when there is no proceedings," he said.
Statistics available with the Traffic Department shows that though 1,736 cases were booked, none was convicted. In April, when they started the new system, 651 offenders were punished out of the 1,227 cases booked. As on May 24, 2,803 cases were booked and 830 offenders punished.
"The low conviction this month was because the magistrate was on leave for a few days," Mr. Kuppusamy also noted.
He said the plan was to have at least 70 per cent conviction by the end of the year so that "booking of cases would become meaningful in bringing down incidents of violations".
He said in the coming days the drive would be further intensified by deploying more traffic personnel.
He also warned of stringent action against those owners, who park vehicles on no-parking zones. The imposition of the fine amount is the discretionary power of the magistrate.
Normally, a minimum of Rs.1,000 was imposed for drunken driving, Rs.500 for not having license and between Rs.100 to Rs.400 for other traffic violations.
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