Batting for stricter rules including higher fines to enforce traffic rules in view of increasing accidents, Home Minister R R Patil on Thursday said states should be given powers to legislate on issues like punishment of traffic rule violators.The powers are presently vested with the Centre, he said.
Addressing the concluding function of the Traffic Safety Fortnight of the Maharashtra police, Patil highlighted the need for stricter rules and heavier fines to rein in traffic rule violators. He said, “We are adding a huge number of vehicles to roads every day but have not been able to develop the mindset for safe driving. We badly need stricter rules and heavier fines.”
He added, “The power to formulate or change laws on even these issues lies with Parliament. We think states should be given the powers to legislate on issues of traffic regulation and punitive action on violators.” He said that 13,000 people die every year in road accidents in Maharashtra while 45,000 suffer permanent disability. “Pune adds 990 vehicles to roads every day. These numbers are big and are the reason for our concern.”
Marathi actor Prashant Damle who was present at the function said police should once again start deflating tyres of vehicles when drivers jump traffic signals. State transport minister Gulabrao Devkar seconded Damle. Patil, however, said it will create another problem of managing vehicles stranded on roads with deflated tyres.
A drill by students attached to the Road Safety Patrol initiative of Pune police was the highlight of the ceremony.
‘Action against cops in abducted girl’s case after report’
When asked about the girl rescued from a brothel in Shirpur in Dhule who was allegedly beaten with a belt by a senior officer in Nagar, RR Patil said, “All allegations made by the girl have been recorded and an inquiry ordered. After we get the inquiry report, action will definitely be initiated against officers who are at fault.”
‘Why the resistance to helmets?’
R R Patil expressed concern over people not wearing helmets. He said, “I do not really understand why there is resistance to wearing helmets in a city like Pune. In the past people wore Pagdis but not any more. There is hardly any other reason for people to not wear helmets.”