One person is killed on Mumbais superhighways every 15 hours, the worst preserve in India. In an attempt to get a traction on the chaos, the police are get digital recording fines electronically and installing CCTV. But will it stop people taking jeopardies?

For 30 times after she was hit, Archana Pandya lay bleeding on a superhighway in the busy Mumbai suburb of Goregaon. The 22 -year-old, who had just started a new job, was on her mode home from undertaking when she was the victim of a hit-and-run. She died of her hurts. There were a lot of people there, and it happened right opposite a police headquarters, but no one came forward to help, says her brother Siddharth Pandya. Its not the roads; in India, its the person or persons the hell is unsafe.

Pandya was one of 586 parties killed in road accidents in Mumbai in 2015, the equivalent of one death every 15 hours. Another 2,034 were seriously injured. The long response times of ambulances and emergency vehicles, coupled with the unwillingness of viewers to facilitate street casualties for panic of being detained by police and hospitals, contribute to slow, distressing deaths for hundreds of beings every year. As a outcome, Mumbai a city with approximately the same number of cars as London, but more than four times the number of road fatalities has become known as Indias crash capital. In 2015 there used to be 23,468 recorded congestion conflicts: the highest in the country.

The citys urban geography has helped spawn a culture of negligent driving. Vehicles zigzag through dense traffic jam, cutting paths, engulf from the left or zipping past red lights. Operators are well aware that criminal penalties are small and the the opportunities of getting caught are low. Many scoff at the idea of wearing a seatbelt, while others casually take phone calls and react text meanings as they steer through the maze of cars.

These lax attitudes and dangerous driving garbs are spawned right from the driving experiment, which exists mainly as a formality and is readily smoothed with a small bribe. Aditi Deopujari, a Mumbai resident who got her “drivers licence” in 2000, clarifies: I was part of a driving institution that had a setup with the Motor Vehicles Department[ which issues licences ]. I proved up and had some pattern rounds, but never had to sit the exam or had any written research regarding the rules. I just got handed the licence. Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, says: I literally had to drive five metres forwards, and then five metres reversal. That was it, I passed.

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

In an is making an effort to get a grasp on the chaos, Milind Bharambe, the head of the traffic police, is presiding over a new traffic control experimentation. The municipality has given all congestion polices electronic designs to question fines, and has installed 4,000 CCTV cameras at conjunctions and signals. After five contraventions, we are going to start taking away licences, says Bharambe, whose is our intention to digitise the traffic control method takes clues from Prime Minister Narendra Modis digital India programme.

Watch, says police officer Prashant Prabhu, motioning towards a traffic light at a busy conjunction on the Mumbai marina. Across the road, the light is about to go from green to ruby-red. But just as he predicts, autoes accelerate through, hoping to cross the signal as the yellowed twinklings. Some keep driving even after the brightnes get crimson.

Signal jumping is the biggest offence at this conjugation, he says. Everyone reckons, the light-footed has just transformed blood-red, let me try to get through. None wants to wait.

Prabhu startles 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 invention, and flubs trying to enter his password into the brand-new machine. Eventually he punches in the licence count and asks for a debit card to pay the 200 rupee( 2.40) fine.

Sometimes people refuse to give their driving licence. OK , no problem, we just placed their licence plateful numeral into the machine, and it will automatically send a fine to their telephone, he says. This path we have a record of all the traffic offences each motorist has committed.

Milind Bharambe in its term of office

Until last-place month, transaction penalties for even the most serious faults were issued on paper, with no way to check if a operator was a repeat offender, says Baharambe. Weve been running the programme for just one month, and already weve given out over 150,000 fines.

Bharambe seems a believable nominee for the enormous task of modernising Mumbais archaic traffic policing system. His office walls feature likeness of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh as well as live flow of CCTV footage from around the city; on his wrist is an Apple watch. He has a black belt in karate, a 10 -year triumphing streak in state-wide shooting competitions, and a solid chronicle as a policeman his achievements include setting up the rapid reaction crew during the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008. And he has a biography of introducing tech-based initiatives as superintendent of police in Sangli and Thane, two metropolitans near Mumbai.

As well as digitising commerce offences, his contrive includes the more analogue solution of brand-new hydraulic towing vans, which can move 4x4s until now, SUVs that had being severely parked or to participate in crashes had to be left on the road until their operator moved them. He has also invested in digital signboards to alert 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 duets of uniformed police officers these are the officers tasked with using the brand-new CCTV cameras to issue tickets and penalties remotely. Shinde also administers a brand-new complaints system, which receives more than 300 messages from disappointed operators every day.

The biggest editions are traffic jams , no parking, collisions, and oil pours on the road leading, he says. Were making all the penalties cashless, so moves can offer via charge 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 compensate by charge card, that means we have a record of the transaction. No police officer can just take a cut for themselves.

A mortal intersects in the downpour in Mumbai. Image: Rafiq Maqbool/ AP

Although digitising Mumbais traffic activities is a significant switching that could improve efficiency and reduce decay, Siddharth Pandya, friend of Archana, disbelieves it will have much impact on the death toll. Good-for-nothing has changed, he says. Many of the CCTVs police invested before are not fully retained or dont run, so why would it be different now? Where Archana was killed there was a CCTV camera, but it was broken, so we never found out who touched her.

Bharambe, for his part, highlights the fact that Mumbais collision statistics appear worse than other Indian metropolitans because the Mumbai police are better at preserving coincidences. He highlights the fact that Delhi has four times as numerous vehicles as Mumbai but scarcely evidences any no-injury accidents, in a deliberate effort to keep disintegrate statistics low-grade. He likewise points to inefficiency, corruption and red tape within a complex web of urban development authorities. We have to keep cleaning up their mess, he says.

Harish Wahi, director of road safety NGO Equal Streets, is of the view that the citys traffic problems guide even deeper.

South Bombay was built in British colonial times, and all of new Bombay has taken condition very quickly, post-1 980 s. Because of the velocity of that increment, the planning and caliber of roads has disappeared. On surface of that, sidewalks are intruded upon by hawkers or shops, so pedestrians have no choice but to move on busy streets.

Prabhu, trafficking in human beings policeman on Mumbais marina, says police are blamed unfairly for street fatalities. I am literally on my hoofs the whole day. I barely sit down. The problem is the public doesnt want to drive properly they are only want to reach their end as fast as possible.

Bharambe admits that his digital drive is simply like to reduce fatalities by a small fraction. The people also have to take specific responsibilities, he says. Look, two years ago , none of the people on motorbikes were wearing helmets. Now, since weve started enforcing[ helmet wearing ], youll envision most of the drivers have their helmets. But youll still meet 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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