Are traffic offenders more criminal than rapists?

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Recently I was stopped by a cop for jumping red light on a signal at JVLR, Signal turned red as I was mid way to taking right turn. Sudden break there would mean following car will bump, and the crossing traffic will have narrow space for turn, thus slowing down the traffic on a busy road. It is not my justification for jumping the signal, but just want to point out, that in most such borderline cases, you are at the mercy of traffic cop for being fined or to let go.

Apparently, as per government, that is a more serious crime compared to rape or murder. As this will now attract a fine of INR 5000/- [reference] juxtaposing with the fact that a rapist in 2012 infamous Delhi rape case was given INR 10000/- and a sewing machine after his release from house of correction. [reference]

In a more direct way, it’s funny how government thinks of heavier fine as a practical way to deter road accidents. Instead of focusing on making roads instead of pot holes, better lighting on roads at night, imposing punishment on real threats like using high beam in two way traffic, and most importantly, issuing licenses only to right people.

A driving test of 2-5minutes does not make sense, neither does an MCQ type test for traffic rules. In our system, license issuance is only about driving skills and not about following traffic rules. Why not make this a 2 step test, one for driving skills, another for following traffic rules. Like a 30-45 min driving test, with all the practical scenarios of traffic, like following signal, lane change indicator, honking etc. This will give you way better drivers on roads, thus safer roads in general. I mean if, in a test, someone misses indicator 1 out of 10 lane change instances, rejecting the application right away will make more sense as a learned driver will habitually follow right rules through subconscious. But if one misses it once or twice in test, there are chances he will do it more often outside test premise.

But NO. Let’s fine people more instead of taking real measures, because, well, that is easy, not to mention prone to higher corruption.

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