| Transport officials train youths on traffic safety on the DTO office premises in Jorhat on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, Aug. 30: They have been setting the roads on fire with their mean machines. But for 50 bike racers in the prime of their youth, a new road now lies ahead.
They are being anointed brand ambassadors for road safety and their mandate is to teach their friends and others about the nitty gritties of road safety and not to live their lives by the throttle.
“We have selected these youths and are providing training to them for the last few days. From Saturday they would be asked to trains others, specially their biker friends, about the importance of road safety and the rules they should follow,” motor vehicle inspector Dhananjoy Saikia said. The project, named Model Driver Training, is sponsored by the ONGC. Saikia said several attempts to check these reckless young bikers had failed and road mishaps have only increased.
“We have collected revenue of more than Rs 20 lakh last year while fining these bikers on charges of flouting road rules, but we have failed to gain any control over them. Thus, we have come up with this new idea to involve these youths,” he said.
Official figures reveal that on an average about 200 motorcycles get registered at the district transport office here every month. Two-wheelers are also involved in about 30 accidents every month on an average in the town and most of the riders on these two wheelers are youths.
The transport official said most of these youths dared to violate traffic rules as fines under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act were quite low.
“We can fine traffic rule violators a maximum penalty of Rs 300 and this is too little an amount and most of people, specially youths, do not feel the pinch to pay such a small amount and keep flouting road rules,” he said.
The transport official said various organisations, including the All Assam Students’ Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad and motorcycle dealers have helped select these youths.
Experts from the transport department will provide the training.
Apart from training this youth brigade, the transport department here has also planned a drawing competition among school children on Saturday. The subject would be road safety.
“The aim of the drawing competition is to make schoolchildren aware of the importance of road safety rules. They are the future generation and they should be taught from now about rules on the road,” Saikia said.
A seminar would also be held among students of various colleges where experts would interact with young riders.