The Mumbai traffic police believes that making traffic rule offenders watch a 15-minute film depicting instances of accidents caused by rash and negligent driving, replete with gory images of accident victims, could help reduce cases of traffic violations in the city . Apart from making them watch the film, the police also want to make offenders pledge to follow traffic rules, henceforth.
With the objective of disciplining errant motorcycle riders and motorists, the traffic police have begun counselling sessions since December last year. 200 traffic offenders have been, since then, counselled so far.
According to the traffic police officers, in January last year they had caught 591 motorists for the offense of rash driving including driving on the wrong side of the road, a number that which doubled in January 2105 as they penalised 1160 motorists and motorcycle riders for the same offence.
In the first two counselling sessions the traffic police had called over 212 offenders most of who were motorcyclists caught for riding in the wrong direction. They had mostly been booked under section 279 (rash and negligent driving) of the Indian Penal Code in the last two months.
The motorcyclists were mostly aged between 20 years and 30 years. “Observing this, since the past two months, we have now decided to call the parents of these riders for the counselling session as well,” said a traffic police officer.
Curiously, officers said offenders are not mandated to attend the sessions. “Mostly we let the motorcyclists off with a warning. But we ask them to promise to attend this 30-minute session at the traffic police headquarters in Worli. To our surprise many of these riders turn up for the session and also pledge not to repeat the offence,” said BK Upadhyay, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
The officers said that the main idea behind this session is to make them realize the dangerous consequences of rash and negligent driving, through several case studies.