Last week, a Delhi Police constable and inspector, sitting in a police jeep without seat belts fastened at a traffic signal under Naraina flyover, got into an argument with a student volunteering in a “traffic awareness campaign”. “Who are you to lecture me about traffic laws? I will not wear a seat belt,” said the constable before driving away. Volunteers at the spot claimed lawyers and police officers are the “worst offenders” when it comes to basic traffic rules such as wearing seat belts.
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Students from the Delhi University Faculty of Law, along with transgenders working with the NGO Basera, have been roped in by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to conduct a traffic rules awareness campaign across the city. Since October, the campaign has been held at several places, including Shastri
Park, Daryaganj, Bhagwan Das Road and Connaught Place.
On December 7, around 50 volunteers fanned out at Mayapuri underpass and Naraina flyover to encourage people to follow traffic rules.
“We were at Bhagwan Das Road outside Supreme Court last month, and many lawyers drove by without seat belts. I stopped a former minister, who is a senior lawyer, and his driver started arguing with me as if I did something wrong,” said Mohd Imran Kashif, a third-year law student and coordinator of the legal service society at Law Center-I.
Using hand-held loudspeakers, the volunteers stopped violators and asked them to put on seat belts or move back from the stop line at signals. Traffic police personnel also issued challans to motorcyclists driving without helmets.
Kajal, a transgender who was part of the campaign, said, “When we approach cars to ask them to put on seat belts, some people pull up their windows thinking we are here to beg.” Kangna, another transgender, said, “This is good work. We are not begging. We are getting respect by working for the government.”
DSLSA campaign coordinator Amit Tanwar said more transgenders might be roped in.