With so many accidents due to rash and negligent driving on our roads, the Government of West Bengal launched the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign across the state. Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched it on 8th July, 2016 to deter people from helmetless driving, over-speeding, rash driving, etc. This widespread campaign has been making its mark due to the active participation of the cops. Both Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police organise rallies, programs, telecast short films, enacts plays to make people aware of the consequences of not following the traffic rules. According to figures, the number of two-wheeler accidents and deaths have reduced to around half after the implementation of this campaign. Yet, accidents do happen. To further bring that number to zero, the West Bengal Transport Department amended the West Bengal Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and issued a gazette notification proposing to increase traffic fines 5-10 times.
Since 1st August 2017, the increased traffic fines have come on effect. Now motorists who over-speed, will have to shell out 3000 as a minimum fine. “This hike in fines is further influencing people to drive safe and responsibly” said a traffic inspector. Speed guns are functioning at Maa flyover, Vidyasagar Setu, AJC Bose Road flyover, EM Bypass and several other stretches across Kolkata where people have a potential for over-speeding. There are also CCTV cameras attached to them. The live feed directly reaches the Lalbazar Control Room. Based on evidence, the licences are being temporarily suspended.
Awareness was a component of the first phase of the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign, and now – the prosecution part.