Prakasam SP Trivikram Varma said the campaign aimed at making motorists follow traffic rules on their own, instead of out of fear of fines.

Andhra police bets on chocolates and roses after hefty fines fail to enforce safe driving Representational Image: Facebook
news Traffic Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 13:33

When Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister K Atchannaidu declared last month that the government would wage a “war against road accidents”, one might have expected to see a massive increase in fines, vehicle seizures and arrests.

However, going by the police in Prakasam district, this war is being waged with gifts and inducements instead of harsh punishments.

On Monday, Prakasam SP Trivikram Varma personally oversaw a traffic safety awareness campaign on the Chennai-Kolkata National Highway, in which the police encouraged motorists to follow traffic rules by distributing chocolates and roses, reported The Hindu

Besides this, police also pasted stickers on road safety on vehicle dashboards, advocating messages for wearing seatbelts, against speeding and so on.

As part of the initiative, the police stopped transport vehicles and gave their drivers facilities for refreshing themselves, even arranging hotel rooms for some tired drivers.

SP Varma said that the police had taken the initiative as imposing even hefty fines seemed to make no difference to drivers, who returned to their old habits in no time at all. Verma said that the campaign was aimed at encouraging motorists to comply with safety rules of their own accord.  

Monday’s drive comes after a similar initiative undertaken by the authorities in Kurnool and Kadapa districts on May 6.

Kurnool SP A Ravikrishna and Deputy Transport Commissioner B Pramila gave roses to drivers and persuaded them to fasten seat belts on the national highway near Kurnool city. Kadapa SP PHD Ramakrishna and Deputy Transport Commissioner M Basi carried out a similar exercise on Rajampet bypass road in the district.   

Last month, Minister Atchannaidu announced a slew of measures to lower accident rates in the state. The Minister said that 25 toll plazas in the state will be equipped with breath analysers. He also added that the state would amend the Transport Act if necessary to hold vehicle owners in case of accidents related to drunken driving.

Speaking at the same event, state Home Minister N Chinarajappa had said that more than 3,000 people are killed in road accidents every year in the state and roughly 30,000 people suffer injuries.

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