Traffic policemen stop a helmet-less scooterist during the drive in Sakchi on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Some lessons are never learnt.
The spate of road accidents notwithstanding, bikers in the steel city continue to flout safety rules with gay abandon, a reality that hit harder when a traffic police drive on Sunday caught as many as 500 on the wrong side of the law.
With the Lok Sabha elections over in the state, the reinforced East Singhbhum police have resumed crackdown on helmet-less biking on Jamshedpur’s arteries in Sakchi, Mango, Agrico, Bistupur and Golmuri. Between 10.30am and 1.30pm, the traffic monitors not just nabbed bikers without the mandatory headgear, but also those without licences and riding two-wheelers without number plates.
Near Jubilee Park, Sakchi, alone around 200 bikers were intercepted for disobeying road rules. Another 150 were pulled up for violations in Bistupur. The rest were caught in Mango, Agrico and Golmuri areas.
Each offender was made to cough up a spot fine of Rs 270; a two-wheeler without a number plate was slapped a Rs 200 penalty; and a biker without licence had to shell out Rs 300. All were made to promise that they would not repeat their mistakes again.
Traffic DSP R.K. Sinha maintained that the campaign would be sustained to discipline road rogues. “Now that the polls are over, we have full strength. The drive will be carried out effectively and at regular intervals,” he said.
A senior traffic officer in Sakchi confirmed that regular monitoring would be done. “Helmet checking has become a part of our routine policing. We were facing manpower issues for the past two months because constables were away on poll duty. Now, they are back and the drive will take place every alternate day, simultaneously at various locations across the steel city,” he said.
The officer added that Sunday’s drive continued for three hours because the weather was pleasant. “We will increase the duration and also include more places if the weather permits in days to come.”
Bikers who were caught in the wrong act had complaints with police efficiency.
“The drive is fine, but traffic cops should value time. We were made to wait for almost half an hour near the Jubilee Park gate. We were delayed for an important family function,” said Sunil Sinha, whose two-wheeler did not have a number plate in the front.