Tuesday, June 15

Kolkata cops put silencer on honking, prosecute 955 people on first day

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As many as 955 people were prosecuted on the first day of the Kolkata traffic police’s drive against honking in the city that began on Wednesday.

Cops said they have chosen 700 points in the city — mostly around hospitals and educational institutions — where any form of unnecessary or excessive honking will be penalized.

“We installed ‘No Honking’ signs at these points with the help of schoolchildren. Besides penalizing the offenders, we are putting up stickers on the vehicles,” DC (traffic) Santosh Pandey said. The amount of the spot fine is Rs 100.

Police said educating drivers will be the top priority for cops. They will issue challans in future as “nothing works better as a deterrent”. Lalbazar said the drive was initiated after receiving several complaints. “Some drivers are deep into the habit and that cannot be tolerated anymore,” another officer said.

Besides the 25 traffic guards, officers from the special raid section and traffic police’s anti-pollution wing will join the drive. The licences of those who do not pay will be seized. “The offenders will have to pay the fine at the Sealdah traffic guard to get back their licences,” an officer of the special raid wing said.

The first day of the drive wasn’t without hiccups. TOI witnessed at least two motorists get into arguments with traffic cops at Tollygunge Phari after they were fined, claiming that ‘zero honking’ could lead to accidents.

“We are often forced to honk because another vehicle comes in our path. There is a heavy vehicle here. How can the police prevent us from honking here altogether? Will the police take responsibility for an accident? Is it not arbitrary?” asked one of the motorists, a medical representative who visits the area frequently.

A traffic cop said they understand the motorists’ concerns and they were doing their utmost to regulate arbitrary vehicular and pedestrian movement in the areas.


Source: Times of India

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