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Different experience for drivers violating rules

Special Correspondent

Police tell them about risks involved in overloading vehicles

— Photo: M. Vedhan

Counselling: Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic-North) S. Manoharan speaking to the driver and passengers of an autorickshaw.

CHENNAI: Autorickshaw and share-autorickshaw drivers violating traffic rules had a different experience on Saturday. Though police intercepted them, there was neither spot fine nor scolding. Instead, the traffic police sought to educate them how risky it was to overload vehicles with passengers.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic-North) S. Manoharan and his team stayed put at one end of the Royapuram flyover all day intercepting autorickshaw and share-autorickshaw drivers violating rules.

The offenders and passengers were given a brief lecture on the risk they were taking. The drivers signed an undertaking acknowledging their mistake and promised not to repeat it. “About 600 drivers have signed undertakings…we want them to realise their mistake. Imposing penalty alone is no solution. The drivers and passengers have to be educated on the risk factors. Autorickshaws and share-autorickshaws are transporting passengers over and above the stipulated number,” Mr. Manoharan said. Pointing out that many autorickshaw drivers were accommodating one or even two people in the front seat, he said a minor jerk could throw such passengers out of the vehicle.

“Travelling in autorickshaws by clinging on to the driver's seat is becoming a common sight. We will take firm action on habitual offenders,” he said.

Mr. Manoharan said that when passengers travelling in the driver's seat become victims of road accidents, the driver would have to pay the compensation or face imprisonment.

“The frequency of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) bus services in northern parts of the city, particularly the Mint and Royapuram areas is less. People are forced to patronise other forms of transport. We have taken up the matter with the MTC authorities.”

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