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Road safety mission

Traffic norm violators were greeted by smiling faces and a few words of advice at two busy zones in Dhanbad on Friday.

Union minister Gopinath Munde’s shocking death in a road accident in Delhi on Tuesday and a spurt in mishaps in the coal town have prompted Dhanbad police to start an awareness campaign about the need to follow safety rules among two-wheeler and four-wheeler owners instead of merely slapping fines.

The drive, led by traffic deputy superintendent of police, Dhanbad, Ashok Kumar Tirkey, kicked off from Bank More and Puja Talkies on Friday and will spread to other crowded areas and intersections in the next two days.

A six-member team stopped bikers, especially those travelling without helmets and carrying more than one pillion-rider, and drivers without seat belts and advised them to stick to rules.

Explaining the need to first spread awareness and then bring the violators to book, Tirkey told The Telegraph: “My intention was to educate the masses about the devastation caused by road deaths and injuries and encourage them to follow traffic rules.”

“It’s all about common people, including women, schoolchildren and youths, coming together to raise awareness about road safety and promote sense of responsibility among drivers. Everyone should come forward in urging people to follow traffic rules, which definitely helps bring down the number of accidents,” the senior officer added.

He, however, warned that the violators would not be let off so easily from next week and would have to cough up fines. “I have asked my men to start a massive crackdown from next week and catch every traffic rule flouter. Spot fines will be slapped on them,” the DSP warned.

According to official records, Dhanbad witnessed more than 123 fatalities in road accidents last year. Traffic policemen said that they fine helmet-less bikers Rs 200. The amount becomes Rs 500 if the offence is repeated.

The penalty for travelling without seat belts and triple riding on bikes is Rs 500 each.