Actresses Archita and Jina campaign for the use of seat belts in Bhubaneswar
on Friday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee (Below) The report on seat belts that was published
in The Telegraph on July 8, 2010
Bhubaneswar, July 16: Next time you drive a car without fastening your seat belt, you will be fined anything between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
For the first time, the city police have decided to strictly enforce the existing traffic rule by imposing fines on those who do not use seat belts. On July 8, The Telegraph had highlighted the lax attitude of the traffic police in enforcing the rule pertinent to the use of seat belts.
Though the use of seat belts was made mandatory for those sitting on the front seats of vehicles last year, the law was hardly ever implemented strictly.
But the commissionerate of police today resolved to implement the rule strictly teeing off the second phase of the “fasten seat belt” campaign in the capital by roping in a number of Ollywood celebrities.
Actors Bijay Mohanty, Sabyasachi, Archita, Jina, Priya and Gungun pasted stickers on vehicles at five locations across the city, highlighting the importance of using seat belts.
The awareness drive will continue for 10 days. “We will strictly regulate the law. Those flouting rules will be fined,” said the commissioner of police, Bijay Kumar Sharma.
“The traffic police should act tough on those flouting rules. Mere awareness drives would not do,” said actor Priya Choudhury, who took part in the campaign today. Actor Sabyasachi Mishra said: “We appeal to people to fasten seat belts for their own safety.”
However, the public doubt any positive impact of the campaign. “First, let the police and VIPs abide by the rule. We often find policemen driving in vehicles without fastening their seat belts,” said Sambit Das, a resident of the capital.
Sources said the city commissionerate police has around 50 lightweight vehicles, including 26 PCR vans and 18 jeeps, at different police stations. While jeeps do not have seat belt facilities at all, the drivers of PCR vans, despite having the provision, allegedly flout the traffic norm by not fastening the seat belts.
The commissioner of police reacted sharply when asked about police jeeps without provisions for seat belts.
“That is our internal issue. We know how to take care of it,” Sharma told The Telegraph.
A few IPS officers here ride Ambassador cars that too reportedly do not have seat belt facilities, the sources said.
The city has around 2 lakh lightweight vehicles without seat belts.
Of them, nearly 30,000 do not have seat belts, the sources said.