Traffic police offering candies to bikers riding without helmet in Churachandpur Credit: Facebook

Churachandpur: In a unique initiative to spread awareness on road safety, Churachandpur police in Manipur flagged off a campaign through which two-wheeler riders were offered sweets, if found riding without helmets, instead of imposing hefty fines.

Although the riders were initially taken aback with the sudden change of gesture by the police, they welcomed the initiative, for all the good reasons.

According to a report, the drive, which was started weeks ago, has been carried out in various places of the hill town to check unruly riders under the overall supervision of the Churachandpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Amrita Sinha.

“We are carrying out the helmet drive to check those bike/two-wheeler riders, who are moving around without wearing their helmets – either they do not have a helmet or they have forgotten it at their house or they might be keeping it in the vehicle itself and not wearing it,” Sinha was quoted as saying by a local media report.

Contrary to the stringent practice of imposing fines on bikers riding without helmets, the defaulters were asked to get down and push their bikes to a considerable distance. Later, they were offered sweets or candies by traffic police personnel and counselled on safety measurements and road regulations.

“Imposing some fines is not bringing about any change and our intention is to bring about some change, to instil some kind of safety sense in the minds of people because helmet protects an individual and it is not for anybody else and it is for their own safety that we’re doing this,” added Sinha in the report.

With the implementation of new Motor Vehicles Act from September 1, through which traffic violations are going to make penalties heftier, such initiatives taken by the Churachanpur police are indeed heartwarming.

According to the amendment bills in the Act, first-time offenders will face imprisonment of six months to one year and/or fine of between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000. For the second offence, the defaulter will face imprisonment for up to two years and /or will have to pay a sum of up to Rs 10,000 as fine.

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