The Telegraph
Thursday , January 16 , 2014
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Be a safety dude, wear a helmet

Without helmets on bikes, without seat belts inside cars. Ranchi youths, particularly those between 17 and 21 years, are most prone to taking traffic rules too lightly.

Young equals irresponsible seemed to be the top finding in the ongoing traffic awareness drive week that started on January 11 and will end on January 17.

On Wednesday, Day Five of the campaign, traffic superintendent Rajiv Ranjan Singh and 50 constables distributed 1,000 pamphlets at every traffic point in the capital.

Road safety tips included stress on wearing helmets, seat belts and sturdy shoes, clocking a two-second gap between oneself and the nearest vehicle ahead and obeying signs.

“Thousands of lives are lost when commuters don’t obey basic rules like wearing helmets and seat belts. This happens mostly in the case of youngsters. Last year, across Jharkhand, around 14,000 persons died in road accidents. Most were youngsters, riding without helmets,” traffic SP Rajiv Ranjan Singh said.

“Across India, 1.5 lakh people lost their lives and as many as 5 lakh people were injured in road accidents,” he added.

“During the drive, we found most bikers and drivers violate traffic norms at Ratu Road and Gadi Khana. But we tried to be polite and asked them to drive safely,” he said.

Since April 2013, the traffic police department has collected fine worth Rs 70 lakh from errant bikers and drivers.

But the traffic superintendent also admitted that reasons for congestion in Ranchi included lack of proper stops for autos and buses, including the much-hyped city buses.

On Tuesday, traffic policemen had distributed 500 roses to bikers and drivers. Though this Gandhigiri is old hat now, it still generates some buzz and some smiles.

On Thursday, Day Six, Ranchi traffic police, which has roped in 100 students of Classes IX, X and XI of Delhi Public School (DPS), will depute the youngsters to request motorists to ride safely. “Students will hand them flowers and request them to wear helmets,” Ranjan said.

On Friday, the last day of the campaign, traffic policemen will wrap up the week with banners and posters.

Did you feel the impact of the seven-day traffic campaign?