The number of traffic offenders in Vizag city has increased by around 25 per cent this year, with citizens paying a whopping sum of Rs 8.8 crore in fines for over 4.75 lakh traffic violations in 2015. The total fine collected in 2014 was Rs 6.46 crore for over 3.82 lakh violations. There was a decline in some violations in 2015 vis-a-vis the previous year, such as overloading in autorickshaws, smoking while driving, and driving without a seat. However, about 1.2 lakh motorcycle riders were penalised in 2015 for not wearing a helmet while the number was 1.01 lakh in 2014. Actual violations committed on the roads are usually higher than those recorded by the police. One of the reasons for violations, according to traffic police officials, is that many motorists have no fear of the law and the penalties are not high.
The data also throws up quite surprising facts. For example, there is a decline in the number of teenage drivers — from 884 in 2014 to 698 in 2015 — and an increase in rash and zigzag driving and speeding, which went from 3,736 in 2014 to 14,658 in 2015. There was also a steep increase in general violations, such as parking in No Parking areas, with the number of offences having gone up from 2.16 lakh last year to 2.86 lakh in 2015.
The use of the mobile phone while driving also increased from 2,457 (2014) to 3,500 (2015). ADCP (Traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu said that road safety continues to be a major concern in Vizag, 'the city of destiny'. The lack of traffic sense among youngsters, including college students, was one of the major reasons for the rise in traffic offences.ACPs (Traffic) K Prabhakar and M Srinivas said that it was not necessary for a traffic police constable to be present at every traffic signal as it was the responsibility of motorists to follow rules. But reckless driving by motorists was forcing two or three police constables to be present at a traffic junction.