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450 cases of rash driving in 3 days

North 24-Parganas police has collected about Rs 5 lakh since Friday from motorists on VIP Road and adjoining areas as fine for rash driving and traffic rule violation.

The drive comes in the wake of criticism of lax policing leading to a spate of accidents on the airport artery. On April 4, a bus had fallen into Lower Bagjola Canal claiming 21 lives.

Baguiati traffic guard — under whose jurisdiction the drive is being conducted — registers about 150 cases and collects Rs 2 lakh as fine every month for traffic norm violation. The licences of drivers found violating traffic norms are being seized.

“The drive is an attempt to crack down on road rule violators. Officers from two police stations and our traffic department are conducting the drive,” said S. Ghosh, the deputy superintendent (traffic wing) of North 24-Parganas.

“We registered over 450 cases between Friday and Sunday evening and collected about Rs 5 lakh as fine. Most of the cases have been slapped on motorcyclists and bus drivers,” said an officer taking part in the drive.

The traffic officers said special attention is being paid to penalising motorcyclists without helmets or with helmets that do not meet the specifications and carrying more than one pillion rider.

“Nearly 30 per cent of the registered cases are related to two-wheelers,” said a traffic officer.

Drivers of buses and autorickshaws also constitute a sizeable section of the penalised.

“Since it is a prohibitive drive, we did not punch the licences but seized them under different sections of Motor Vehicles Act,” added the officer.

The police plan to continue the drive for a few more days, but the local Citu-led autorickshaw and bus workers’ union has reportedly started protesting against the crack down.

“The drive is being conducted only because a bus recently fell into a canal killing several people. In case we feel that the police are being excessively strict, we will intervene,” said S. Dasgupta, leader of a Citu unit in the area.

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