The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Spot-fine replay to stop jaywalkers

In an attempt to bring down the fatality rate on roads, city police will reintroduce spot fines to teach jaywalkers a lesson. This is the first time that the police will introduce the spot-penalty system. It is likely to start from December 23.

Peeyush Pandey, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said the fine will be between 50 paise and Rs 50. The police are determined to implement the new road rule.

Earlier, former deputy commissioner of police (traffic) M. K. Singh had taken the initiative to curb jaywalkers. “But that time, the spot-fine system could not be implemented because of poor infrastructure,” said an official of the traffic department.

In the first phase, the spot-fine system will be implemented at five important crossings famous for violation of traffic rules. Police are ready to give pedestrians 15 days to come to terms with the new regulation.

“We don’t want to harass pedestrians. We want both vehicles and pedestrians to move smoothly,” said Pandey, adding, “When our deadline is over, anyone found violating traffic rules will be booked.”

The five important intersections where spot-fine will be implemented from December 23 are Park Street and Camac Street; Park Street and Jawahar Lal Nehru Road; Dufferin Road and Mayo Road; Council House East and Government Place West; Kiran Shankar Roy Road and Council House Street.

Initially, police will hold a 15-day awareness campaign with the help of schoolchildren and other organisations. “In the first seven days from December 8, we will teach pedestrians how to cross an intersection. They will be taught about the functions of traffic lights,” stated Pandey.

For the next seven days, from December 15 to December 22, police will act tough.

“Even after the week-long awareness campaign, if anyone is found crossing roads without following our directions he will be intercepted. But we will not fine him. The offender will be detained for five or ten minutes and he or she will have to go through our road rules,” said Pandey. “This is basically to teach them a lesson.”

From December 23, there will be no option for the offenders, save paying the spot-fine. “There is a provision in the law that we can charge him a fine up to Rs 50. If anyone is found having only 50 paise, we will take it as penalty. And a receipt will also be given to him on the spot,” said Pandey.

“As the minimum fine is as low as 50 paise, offenders will not have any option but to pay it. They will have to leave the spot after paying the penalty,” he added.

Banibrata Basu, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said offenders will be booked under the Calcutta Police Act, 1866.

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