One person is killed on Mumbais superhighways every 15 hours, the most difficult register in India. In our efforts to get a traction on the chaos, the police are extending digital recording penalties electronically and setting CCTV. But will it stop people taking jeopardies?

For 30 times after she was hit, Archana Pandya lay bleeding on a road in the busy Mumbai suburb of Goregaon. The 22 -year-old, which has recently started a new job, was on her behavior home from wield when she was the main victims of a hit-and-run. She died of her traumata. There were a lot of people there, and it happened right opposite a police headquarters, but no one came forward to help, says her friend Siddharth Pandya. Its not the roads; in India, its the people the hell is unsafe.

Pandya was one of 586 people killed in road accidents in Mumbai in 2015, the equivalent of one fatality every 15 hours. Another 2,034 were seriously injured. The long response times of ambulances and disaster vehicles, working together with the unwillingness of spectators to facilitate superhighway victims for dread of being detained by police and infirmaries, contribute to slow, unpleasant extinctions for hundred persons every year. As a result, Mumbai a city with approximately the same number of cars as London, but more than four times the number of superhighway fatalities has become known as Indias crash capital. In 2015 there were 23,468 recorded transaction crashes: the highest level of the country.

The citys metropolitan geography has helped multiply a culture of foolhardy driving. Vehicles zigzag through dense traffic jams, cutting paths, engulf from the left or zipping past red lights. Drivers are well aware that criminal penalties are small and the chances of getting caught are low. Numerous scoff at the relevant recommendations of wearing a seatbelt, while others casually take phone calls and answer text themes as they navigate through the labyrinth of cars.

These lax attitudes and dangerous driving wonts are spawned right from the driving test, which exists mostly as a formality and is readily smoothed with a small bribe. Aditi Deopujari, a Mumbai resident who got her driving licence in 2000, excuses: I was part of a driving school that had a setup with the Motor Vehicles Department[ which issues licences ]. I depicted up and had some rehearsal rounds, but never had to sit the exam or had any written exam regarding the rules. I just got handed the licence. Another occupant, who asked to remain anonymous, remarks: I literally had to drive five metres forward, and then five metres reverse. That was it, I passed.

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Mumbai has the highest density of cars in India. Image: Alamy

In an attempt to get a grip on the chaos, Milind Bharambe, heads of state of the traffic police, is presiding over a new traffic control experimentation. The metropoli has given all traffic polices electronic designs to question fines, and has installed 4,000 CCTV cameras at interchanges and signals. After five irreverences, we are going to start taking away licences, responds Bharambe, whose is our intention to digitise the traffic control structure takes cues from Prime Minister Narendra Modis digital India programme.

Watch, enunciates police officer Prashant Prabhu, motioning towards a traffic light at a busy intersection on the Mumbai marina. Across the road, the light-colored is about to go from green to crimson. But just as he predicts, gondolas intensify through, hoping to cross the signal as the yellowed bursts. Some keep driving even after the dawn departs blood-red.

Signal jumping is the biggest offence at this seam, he reads. Everyone reputes, the light-footed has just transformed blood-red, let me try to get through. Nothing wants to wait.

Prabhu starts out and flags down a motorbike that has just sped through the red light. He asks for the equestrians licence, then draws out a calculator-like device, and fumbles trying to enter his password into the new machine. Eventually he perforates in the licence figure and asks for a charge card to pay the 200 rupee( 2.40) penalty.

Sometimes people refuse to give their driving licence. OK , no problem, we just put their licence plate number into the machine, and it will automatically send a fine to their telephone, he articulates. This method we have a record of all the traffic offences each driver has committed.

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Milind Bharambe in its term of office

Until last month, traffic fines for even the most serious errors were issued on paper, with no way to check if a motorist was a repeat offender, tells Baharambe. Weve been running the programme for only a few months, and already weve given out over 150,000 penalties.

Bharambe seems a plausible nominee for the enormous undertaking of modernising Mumbais archaic traffic policing organization. Its term of office walls feature personas of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh as well as live streams of CCTV footage from around the city; on his wrist is an Apple watch. He has a black belt in karate, a 10 -year winning streak in state-wide shooting rivals, and a solid enter as a policeman his achievements include setting up the rapid response unit during the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008. And he has a record of introducing tech-based initiatives as superintendent of police in Sangli and Thane, two metropolitans near Mumbai.

As well as digitising traffic offences, his schedule includes the more analogue solution of brand-new hydraulic towing vans, which can move 4x4s up to now, SUVs that had been badly parked or involved in conflicts had to be left on the road leading until their operator moved them. He has also invested in digital signboards to tell about roadworks or coincidences. This is the first time that something like this is being done in the country.

One floor below Bharambes office, Kishore Shinde, the traffic polices firstly heads of state of multimedia, is checking on duos of uniformed police officer these are the officers tasked with using the brand-new CCTV cameras to issue tickets and penalties remotely. Shinde too oversees a brand-new complaint mechanism, which receives more than 300 contents from foiled drivers every day.

The biggest editions are traffic jams , no parking, collisions, and lubricant sheds on the road leading, he tells. Were making all the fines cashless, so motorists can pay via debit card or mobile phone. We know there is corruption and bribery even in our own district, like there is from top to bottom everywhere in India. But once you offer by charge card, that means we have a record of the busines. No police officer can just take a cut for themselves.

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A human sweeps in the rain in Mumbai. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/ AP

Although digitising Mumbais traffic functionings is a significant shift that could improve efficiency and shorten fraud, Siddharth Pandya, brother of Archana, disbelieves it will have much impact on the death toll. Nothing has changed, he articulates. Many of the CCTVs police set before are not fully retained or dont cultivate, so why would it be different now? Where Archana was killed there was a CCTV camera, but it was broken, this is why we never found out who punched her.

Bharambe, for his part, highlights the fact that Mumbais collision statistics seem worse than other Indian municipalities because the Mumbai police are better at entering accidents. He highlights the fact that Delhi has four times as numerous vehicles as Mumbai but scarcely accounts any no-injury accidents, in a deliberate effort to keep gate-crash statistics low. He also points to mismanagement, corrupt practices and bureaucratic procedure within a complex network of urban development experts. We have to keep cleaning up their mess, he suggests.

Harish Wahi, chairman of road safety NGO Equal Streets, is of the view that the citys transport problems lead even deeper.

South Bombay was built in British colonial times, and all of new Bombay has taken determine very quickly, post-1 980 s. Because of the speeding of that emergence, the planning and excellence of roads has proceeded. On top of that, pavements are encroached upon by hawkers or shops, so pedestrians have no choice but to walk on busy streets.

Prabhu, the traffic polouse on Mumbais marina, articulates police are blamed unfairly for superhighway extinctions. I am literally on my feet the whole epoch. I barely sit down. The trouble is the public doesnt want to drive properly they just want to reach their destination as fast as possible.

Bharambe admits that his digital drive is simply like to reduce demises by a small fraction. The people also have to take specific responsibilities, he enunciates. Look, two years ago , nothing of the person or persons on motorbikes were wearing helmets. Now, since weve started executing[ helmet wearing ], youll accompany most of the drivers have their helmets. But youll still picture men who are driving their motorbikes wearing helmets themselves, but the wife and children sitting behind them are not. Now tell me, if people themselves are taking such risks with their own familys lives, then what can we do?

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