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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Lady cops lead safety drive

Jan. 3: Police here took aid of the women in their ranks to create awareness today about road safety and the scourge of drink driving.

Women cops stopped cars, motorcycles and auto-rickshaws at many traffic points today and pasted stickers on the vehicles, urging people not to drive after drinking. Guwahati traffic police prepared the stickers to spread awareness against drink driving.

The drive is part of the 24th Road Safety Week, which is being jointly observed by Guwahati traffic police and Aakriti, an NGO.

“We pasted the stickers and urged people not to drive their cars or two-wheelers when they are drunk, as many road accidents in the city happen because of drink driving. We are telling people that a little care can prevent accidents and save lives, as their families and children are waiting for them at home,” a woman police constable told this correspondent as she stopped a car at Ambari traffic rotary and pasted a sticker with the message: “Stay alive, don’t drink and drive”.

The road safety week is supported by the Union ministry of road transport and highways and is being observed across the country to create awareness about road safety and bring down the number of deaths in road accidents.

India ranked top in terms of road accident deaths in the world — four people dying every four minutes. Drink driving has been found to be one of the main causes of such fatalities.

In Guwahati, too, drink driving has been found to be a serious issue, with traffic police reporting 225 cases in December. The traffic cops, armed with breath analysers, on December 26 launched a special drive to rein in drink driving and registered more than 130 cases in just one week. The police yesterday said the drive would continue in the city.

Altogether 300 women cops were deployed here recently to assist traffic cops in managing traffic and help women on the streets and markets.

“Though there is no special motive behind engaging women cops in the road safety week, we believe people take an appeal made by a woman more seriously than one made by a man. As a woman cop makes an appeal to a person driving a car or riding a motorcycle, he/she immediately remembers his family and children at home. This has a better psychological impact on the people,” a traffic police officer said.

Many residents here, however, said the awareness drive should continue throughout the year to have a long-term impact. “The road safety week is observed in the first week of every year but we don’t see anything after that. There should be strict enforcement as well as constant awareness programmes to change people’s habit of flouting traffic norms,” Pradyut Neog, a resident of Ulubari, said.