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Bikers riding without helmets get toffees from cops

A unique campaign on safe driving and wearing of helmets by motorcycle and scooter riders has been launched by police in Churachandpur in Manipur.
Contrary to the common practice of imposing fine on helmetless riders, District Traffic Control Police (DTCP) personnel of Churachandpur, 65 km south of Imphal, distributed toffees to riders without helmets and counselled them on safety. Several accidents involving two-wheelers, some resulting in fatalities, have taken place in the hill town.
In the ongoing campaign which started two weeks ago and is being taken up at different locations of Churachandpur town, the police personnel first stop the vehicles, and then offer advice and counselling as well as toffees to the riders. DTCP in-charge James Lianzagou Vaiphei is currently implementing the campaign.

Churachandpur Superintendent of Police Amrita Sinha told this correspondent that the idea was to check the bike or two-wheeler riders moving around in the district headquarters without wearing helmets. “Either they do not have a helmet or they forgot to wear it. Imposing fine does not bring any change and our intention is to bring some change in them and the response is positive so far,” she said.

A total of 20,403 two-wheelers and 5,282 cars, out of a total of 32,120 vehicles, are registered at the District Transport Office. About 100 new two-wheelers on an average have been registered every month since March 2019.

Sinha, who joined as SP about two months back, said it was also an attempt to spread awareness on basic road safety rules. “We are going to do it for some time. After all, it is for their safety and their safety is of prime importance for us.”

Last month, the Lok Sabha passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019, to amend the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Bill aims to enforce stricter penalties for road traffic violations.

Reacting to the initiative, a resident of Churachandpur said it was a good move for citizens to know traffic rules through a new and innovative approach. “I hope it bears good results,” he said.

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