Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways has put a question mark on the professional conduct and integrity of the traffic police cops of Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Ministry has virtually further dented already bruised image of the traffic police of Jammu and Kashmir. Traffic Cops who are often found hyperactive and even at times harassing school going students, female car and two wheeler drivers have been shown in very poor light in a report prepared by the Transport Research Wing (TRW) of Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways. The ministry is headed by ex-BJP National President Nitin Gadhkari.
According to the report which was released in August earlier this year, of total 6457 road accidents which took place in various parts of the state in the year 2013; 4251 i.e. more than 65 percent accidents were caused by the fault of driver. In these 4251 road accidents, 631 persons lost life of the total 990 i.e. 63 percent while 4205 were grievously injured of the total 8681 i.e. 48 percent and in most of the cases, injured were left handicapped. The report does indicate that a good number of injured had to get their arms and legs amputated.
This outrightly indicates callousness of traffic cops in checking licences and verifying that the same has been issued by the transport department. Failure of cops to keep a check on consumption of Alcohols and drugs by traffic as well as police cops resulted in 82 road accidents in which 30 persons lost life while 110 others were injured. 2980 road accidents were caused by speeding vehicles in which 399 persons lost life of the total i.e. 58 percent of the total lives lost in accidents.
If the two are causes are counted together, 76 percent lives have been lost in the road accidents because of drunk drivers and over-speeding vehicles. Traffic cops have seemingly preferred not to take these two causes seriously and hence, no special nakas are laid to catch drunk drivers and penalise over-speeding vehicles. Focus is on penalising those travelling in the interiors of Jammu city especially students and female drivers.
Of the 4205 injured due to fault of drivers, 3876 were injured only because of drunk drivers and over-speeding vehicles. Pointing towards another major flaw in the working of traffic cops, the report has laid bare the statistics, according to which 2109 of the total 6457 road accidents were caused due to unchecked over-loading and over-crowding of vehicles. 341 persons lost their lives while huge number i.e. around 41 percent persons were injured of the total 8681 due to the negligence of the traffic cops in keeping a check on over-loading in the vehicles.
Load protruding which can be easily detected has caused more than 899 accidents in which 91 people lost lives and 1574 suffered minor to major injuries. In most of the cases i.e. around 23.60 percent cases, accidents were caused by Trucks, Tempos, MAVs and Tractors in which around 165 people lost lives and 1455 were grievously injured. These could have been curbed if the cops on duty would have kept a regular check on drunk drivers, over-speeding and over-crowded vehicles.
342 people lost lives in 1242 road accidents involving buses. Buses were over-crowded and over-loaded in most of the cases. Not only were the buses over-crowded but over-speeding and being driven by drivers using mobiles. No check on drivers using mobiles while driving led to 342 people losing their life. Drivers involved in around 3587 road accidents were either illiterate or qualified upto 8th standard, knowing little about road safety and dangers of over-speeding.
Report has raised serious stinging questions on the professional conduct of traffic police in Jammu and Kashmir which spends most of the time in penalising ordinary offenders and less or no time in regulating traffic or catching the ones killing people on the roads without any fear of getting caught or penalised heavily. The report has shown that traffic cops do not catch offenders and instead, keep playing hide and seek with students and females in Jammu city.