The Bangalore City Traffic Police has set up CCTV cameras on several major traffic junctions with a view to manage traffic as well as to keep a track on traffic violators. CCTVs are a boon for traffic management because catching a traffic violation on camera ensures that there is adequate and objective evidence to punish the offender in a court of law.
Unfortunately, however, that seldom happens in reality in India!
One of the major hurdles in punishing traffic violators is that the addresses of vehicle owners are not updated in the RTO’s database. Therefore, a lot of traffic notices get delivered to old addresses that are no longer valid.
Of course, if the Government is interesting in fixing the problem, there is a very simple solution available. All that needs to be done is to link the databases of all vehicle insurance companies with the RTO’s database.
A vast majority of vehicles in India are insured, and the insurance is generally renewed scrupulously every year. So it is fair to assume that the vehicle insurer’s database would generally have the up-to-date residential address of the vehicle owner. By just linking the databases of all insurance companies with the RTO’s database, it would ensure that the RTO would also be brought up to date without any need for human intervention, thereby rectifying the above anomaly without putting any physical burden whatsoever on the RTO, insurer or the vehicle owner.
Not just postal addresses, the RTO could even pick up phone numbers and email addresses of the vehicle owners, so that in addition to sending a physical notice of any violations, the RTO could also send notices via email or SMS.
As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Once people start getting punished, and they realise that there is no way to escape from a traffic violation, the tendency to break rules will automatically decline and sanity will be restored. Mere verbal threats or appeals to follow traffic rules are going to get us absolutely nowhere.
The time has come to think out-of-the-box when it comes to challenging and pressing problems like traffic management, and we have to move forward with radical solutions such as these if we are to change our lives for the better.