Gift helmets, not roses on Valentine's Day: Betul traffic cops

  • Rajesh Bhatia, Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Betul
  • Updated: Jan 19, 2015 21:21 IST

Ever thought about gifting a helmet to your beloved on Valentine's Day? Traffic policemen in Betul town are advising bikers, especially young ones, to opt for helmets instead of traditional roses on February 14.

As part of a road safety drive, the traffic cops are flagging down bikers riding without helmets and handing them chocolates and pamphlets with the innovative message on safety.

The campaign has generated a buzz as it is surprising commuters and motorists alike for the last few days. Moreover, the public awareness message is not spread through dull and boring slogans as in the case of traffic police in Bhopal.

Motorists given chocolates and the pamphlet for violation of traffic rules are often seen embarrassed while accepting the 'gift' and speeding off from the spot. However, many of them are impressed by the campaign.

"The campaign impressed me. They are right in saying that there can be love and other joys of life, if you are alive. I never wore helmet so far but intend to buy one right away without waiting for Valentine's Day," Ambar Rathore, a 23-year-old youth, said.

Traffic in-charge of the district, Jyotsna Yadav said the idea was to drive home the message of safety in a subtle way. "Traffic police can fine errant drivers if it happens time and again. Their licences can be suspended. But we have devised this method to spread the message which does not irritate them but makes them think," Yadav said.

Swatantra Jharwade of Yes Bank, which is sponsoring the campaign under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, said the message was not only meant for young couples. "A father loves his son as much or perhaps even more. He can buy a helmet and gift it to his son. As far as young couples are concerned, we only wish to communicate that there can be love only if both of them are safe," he said.

What remains to be seen is the effectiveness of the innovative safety campaign. For that, the traffic police have to wait till February 14.

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