While the length of roads has stayed the same in the past 10 years, the number of vehicles has gone on increasing unabated, and this has made managing traffic in the Maximum City one of the biggest headaches for the authorities.
The Mumbai traffic police department, which is primarily responsible for managing traffic in the city, believes that most motorists violate basic traffic norms on a regular basis without even realising that they are doing it.
Traffic police chief Dr BK Upadhyay said people are well aware that if they are caught violating any traffic norm they can get away after paying a paltry amount. "The fines imposed for violating traffic rules should be increased so that people think twice before breaking any norms."
The traffic police said most people in the city refuse to follow those rules which inconvenience them. There is no lane discipline among motorists, which is the main cause for most of the mishaps, when one vehicle is trying to rashly overtake another from the wrong side, a traffic police officer said.
"Most motorists will be seen following traffic rules when they spot a traffic police constable stationed at a signal, otherwise, they simply don't bother. Traffic rules are made for the safety of the people and not to inconvenience them. People need to understand this and follow them so that driving is not as big a mess as it currently appears to be," another senior traffic police officer said.
He added, "If all motorists follow traffic norms, the traffic chaos in the city can be solved to a great extent. In most cases, it is due to a few vehicles that the traffic movement gets affected and causes inconvenience to several others."
With the shortage of manpower in the traffic police department, posting men at every junction and signal in the city is impossible. Many motorists use this to their benefit and violate traffic regulations. The traffic police believe that people should be educated from the very start so that they follow rules not as a burden but as a responsibility towards themselves and other motorists.
Some of the most common traffic rules violated on a daily basis are lane-cutting, jumping signal, illegal parking, not wearing helmet and not wearing seat belt.