Despite a dip in the number accidents caused by speeding, it continues to be the topmost cause for major accidents in the city this year. Moreover, the traffic police are having a hard time controlling the menace without the sophisticated technology needed to nail the offenders.
As many as 1,618 speeding cases were registered between January and July, with fines worth Rs 2.82 lakh collected from the offenders. Last year, however, the number of cases during the same time period was much higher at 2,862. All in all, the city has recorded about 11,650 accident cases this year, of which 300 were fatal.
According to the traffic police, one of the main causes for speeding is that a number of new freeways and flyovers have come up in the city. With large stretches of empty road, motorists feel the need to speed. Despite installation of speed limit signs, speed breakers and rumblers, the traffic police find it extremely challenging to nab offenders because they do not possess the required technology.
Though CCTV cameras and speed gun (a device used to measure the speed of moving objects) drives have helped the department catch some reckless drivers, the technology is still in a nascent stage. According to B K Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police, traffic, they have 30 speed guns. "We have speed gun drives every week. We catch more than 100 offenders per run. But operating one speed gun requires 4 to 6 police personnel and it is tedious to do it every day. Most speedsters are caught on highways, the eastern expressway, the sea link, Carter road, Worli sea face and Mahim causeway," he said.
Officials also feel that catching a reckless driver puts the lives of both the motorist and the cop at risk. In areas where the speed limit is 50 kmph, motorists drive at 100 to 120 kmph. "The need of the hour is designing and installation of high-end enforcement cameras, which are different from the CCTVs," said Upadhyay.
The department wants at least 250 to 300 such cameras installed. They will be connected to a central server which will receive live feed, following which offenders will be sent computerised challans. "We have sent a proposal to the government to approve the installation these cameras and provide more speed guns," said a traffic official, adding that this would also help them identify repeat offenders.
Fine imposed for speeding – Rs 200
Cases of speeding in 2014 (till July) – 1,618
Fine collected – Rs 2.8 lakh
Cases of speeding in 2013 (till July) – 2,862, (entire year) – 3,635
Fine collected – Rs 6.5 lakh