While Chandigarh witnesses fight between police and the motorists regarding the issuance of challans, Panchkula Police is taking a much- needed step to make public aware of the recent amendments in the Motor Vehicle Act. During the three-day awareness campaign, which began on Friday, Panchkula Police banned issuing challans against the traffic violators. The violators would be educated about the amendments.
On the second day of the drive, Panchkula Police distributed 120 red roses to those found violating the traffic rules. While DCP Kamaldeep Goyal and CP Saurav Singh stood with red roses in their hands, the violators were found trying to evade the police by taking U-turns on the roads itself. The police officials shouted to them saying that they will not be fined. Many who came back after hearing this, looked confused when they were given roses. They were also asked to attend lectures being given by the DCP and CP.
“We are treating violators with love and leniency during this three-day drive and also telling them that this is the only time we are letting you go,” C P Saurav Singh said.
When asked about the significance of the drive, DCP Kamaldeep Goyal said, “It is very important to make people aware of these new rules before imposing a fine on them as a goodwill gesture from the police. Though large section of people are already aware of the amendments, there are still sections of society with no knowledge of it. A step of this kind would also reduce the chances of them lashing out on us.”
The awareness drives are specifically being held in the colonies and slum areas of the district including Amartex Chowk, Kharak Mangoli and Rajeev Colony. “We have often observed that violations are more from these pockets of the city. People from these areas do not have much access to media and even if they get information, they generally get misguided. Another reason is that most of them own two wheelers. Sixty percent of the accident cases include either pedestrians, cyclists or two-wheeler riders and a high concentration of these three lie in these colonies. Also, most of the people involved in these cases belong to economically weaker sections,” the DCP said.
Police said that they have been given strict orders to start challaning the violators once the drive was over. While the Panchkula Police has decided to go slow on implementation of the new rules, the commissioner said that the compliance of traffic laws, at least when it comes to rules like wearing helmets, has gone up. “We have rarely seen any person without wearing helmet or not putting seat belt now. It was actually difficult to find such violators to give roses today”, the the police commissioner said.
Some of the residents, however, feel that the three-day awareness drive is not enough.