The Mumbai traffic police have another job in their hands. Apart from fining cabbies and automen who refuse fare, they are giving them lessons to reform them.
As part of the special campaign, errant drivers who are brought to the Traffic Police Headquarters in Worli and taken in groups to the ‘classroom’. “A batch of about 60-70 drivers are given lectures for about 30-45 minutes on how refusing fare is breaking rules,” said a traffic police, in-charge ofthe initiative.
The lecture, which began five days ago, is mostly about dos an d must-dos for taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers, said an officer. “We keep emphasising in our lectures, about why these drivers shouldn’t be refusing fares,” said an officer. “We tell them how a fine or a suspension of licence would financially be a setback for them as well as their families.” Every day, about 300 taxi and autorickshaw drivers are given lectures in batches.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Brijesh Singh said, “This campaign has been Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar’s brainchild. The idea is to ensure more can be done to implement the rules than by merely fining errant drivers.” The lesson has yielded result, said police officers. After the lecture, many drivers regret their deeds.
“They try to reason out their act and try explaining why they end up refusing fares. We, however, have no choice but to enforce the rules and tell them that it’s in their best interest to follow the rules.” Even though the long-term effect is yet to be seen, it won’t be wrong to say that the Traffic Police, with the drive and the recently launched Facebook page is surely turning over a new leaf.