I guess traffic in India is chaotic, but there are places where the traffic is pretty disciplined. Talking of Mumbai, here motorists tend to obey traffic rules more than those from many other cities – at least on major roads. This is because of the presence of traffic police at all major junctions in Mumbai and a hi-tech close circuit TV network at many important junctions.
Motorists from other cities, even those from neighbouring Thane (where it is hard to see any traffic cops except at the railway station and the toll naka) get caught unawares because they are used to traveling without seat belts and breaking traffic lights.
However Mumbai has a traffic problem of another kind: Traffic jams. Well, the Mumbai Traffic Police have found a solution to this problem. Or are at least trying to.
Recently they tied up with Reliance Communications for a “special public service” which road users can access when in a jam. And its not just traffic jams and accidents, suggestions will also be accepted. The best thing is that this can be done via the humble SMS. Just punch in your complaint and send it to 3040 and its likely that you will get an immediate response as the service is monitored live from the Mumbai Police Traffic Control Room. Or Mumbaikars can simply dial 30403040 and they will get access to services in Marathi, Hindi or English – all for traffic related issues.
So the next time you are in a jam, send that SMS and don’t be too shocked if a flurry of policemen descend on you.
Their website is also worth a dekho. You can complain against errant taxi and rickshaw drivers by filling in a form and there is useful information about driving, penalties for different traffic violations, and a traffic planner which gives you an idea of the best way to travel from point A to point B. Useful for those not too familiar with the city.