Wednesday, August 4

8 Kolkatans risk losing licence to drive in 2 nights of cop action

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The practice of speeding amongst youngsters has become so common over the last few months that cops have recommended temporary cancellation of at least eight licences. The first two nights of the special drive against speeding cars – especially the high-end ones frequenting party zones — has prompted cops to come up with the recommendation.

At least four traffic guards — all of them in south and southern suburbs — have reported around 14 rash driving cases each over the weekend. Also, at least two recommendations for suspension of licences have come from each of these four guards in last two days.

The Kasba guard, for example, has decided to recommend cancellation of licences for drink driving. At Southeast traffic guard, the cops are taking the accused to the nearest police station and asking for the vehicle to be seized and a proper FIR lodged for speeding (at least double or more of the recommended speed). “We will be taking each of these challans to court. We will not release the papers until the court decides so,” said an officer at Lalbazar.

To make night policing more effective, Lalbazar had earlier decided to do away with the night-sergeant system.While the new naka system, in which local police stations have a pivotal role to play, has been a runaway hit, Kolkata traffic police has now organized the 25 traffic guards into 12 clusters.

“Two guards together pool in 14 personnel — four sergeants and 10 constables — for the job. Their duty hours are from 11pm to 5am. This special team has been provided with 125 strategic points from where maximum accidents are reported or places where restaurants and bars stay open late into the night. These teams check for drink driving, helmetless riding, and most importantly, put a brake on racing,” said a senior police officer.

“We will continue with our drive against over speeding. The DCP (traffic) has been asked to ensure that vehicles which multiple pending citations are checked and identified for penal action,” said Kolkata Police commissioner Anuj Sharma.

Lalbazar’s message has been terse and to the point: catch those who are flouting laws using high-end cars. “We have been asked to show no leniency, if required we can recommend cancellation of licences. Now, we have set three priority areas – speeding, breaking traffic lights and drink driving,” said an officer from a central Kolkata traffic guard.

The result of asking the traffic guards to crack down on motorists has had instant impact. “We changed the way we set up nakas. While a bike can still scrap through, a car cannot zip past the zig-zag guard rails. We took action against three car drivers using this strategy,” said an officer of the Kasba traffic guard. A similar drive by Southeast and South division saw action against four motorists on Sunday evening. Both areas are dotted with pubs and restaurants.


Source: Times of India

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