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Vroom to spread traffic awareness

- Campaign on mean machines to involve actors & public representatives

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 17: They have scorched the road with their mean machines many a time in the past for the sake of a kick. But this time, it will be for a cause. A set of bikers will vroom to Bhadrak on January 27 to raise awareness on road safety.

Some of these bike freaks — all members of the Super Bikers’ Club, which is planning the awareness campaign — will repeat the exercise while cruising to Goa for the India Bike Week in February.

“Motorists, especially youngsters, are so fascinated by speed that they tend to forget about their own safety and that of others. This is an attempt to inculcate traffic sense and demonstrate that fancy bikes are not about performing stunts. Safety comes first,” said actor-cum-politician Siddhant Mohapatra, who is a member of the bikers’ club.

More than 20 bikers — mostly entrepreneurs, corporate bigwigs and students in the age group of 18 to 45 — will set off on the journey on their swanky vehicles, dominating the national highway. Strutting their stuff will be as many as 10 brands of high-end bikes such as Harley Davidsons, Suzuki Hayabusa, Yamaha Vmax, Honda VFR and Honda Goldwing.

The campaign is also expected to involve matinee idols, public representatives and college students. “We will start from Bhubaneswar and cover Cuttack and nearby townships, appealing to people to wear helmets, tie seatbelts and refrain from drunk driving. That will not only ensure personal safety, but also make traffic management easier,” the Berhampur MP said.

The club also has plans to organise similar road campaigns from here to other cities of the country, Calcutta being on the top of their list. “We were initially planning to go till Calcutta, but cancelled it because bikers from there would come down to Bhubaneswar and we will head to Goa together,” said Jeetu Mohapatro, a senior member of the club.

They are not the only ones flaunting their flashy machines. A whole new generation seems to have taken to motorbikes. The stylish automobiles, which made their way into Odisha nearly a decade ago, have gained popularity over the past four to five years, despite the fact that they cost an astronomical amount of money and consume a great deal of fuel.

However, since the thrill for racing on the high-speed vehicles generally results in accidents, club member and businessman Devsunder Jagdev has a word of caution.

“Youngsters, mostly college students, have taken a fancy to these plush bikes. However, the vehicles being extremely powerful, amateur drivers often fail to control it. Our aim would be to sensitise youths that they should not overspeed or indulge in racing just because they have a sports bike,” added Dev, who owns a Yamaha R1.

Even traffic cops, who have been keeping a close watch on speeding and fancy bikes, which, though much in vogue remain a cause for concern, echoed the sentiments. “We are not against bikes or biking per se. We only want them to be cautious. And who better to spread this message than they themselves,” said a top cop.