Keeping up with a "zero tolerance" policy towards traffic violations in Ludhiana, the traffic wing of the police commissionerate, along with district transport officer Anil Kumar Garg, challaned the Toyota Innova of Moga MLA Joginder Pal Jain that had an amber beacon and was being used by his son. It was intercepted at a naka set up by the district administration and the police near Phullanwal village on Pakhowal Road on Friday.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA's son, Akshit Jain, tried to influence the policemen with his father's name, but to no avail. The police also found an 'MLA' sticker pasted on the window of the car (PB-65Z-1735), which was found to be illegal, as it was issued for another car (PB-29H-4067). The police issued him a challan for unauthorised beacon and misuse of the sticker. In all, 63 people were challaned during the drive.
Fake 'press' stickers were also removed from a car and a person claiming to be a media reporter issued a challan. As many as 18 bottles of liquor were also confiscated from a car. In another incident, a drunken truck driver, who was later issued a challan, threatened to crush the cop who asked him to stop his vehicle, police said. However, after receiving support from his superiors and colleagues, the cop registered a complaint against the driver.
It must be mentioned that 363 accidents, including 222 deaths 220 severe injuries till October 2014, compelled the administration, police commissionerate and district transport office to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy to curtail traffic violations in the district. In 2013, 258 people lost their lives, while 286 suffered severe injuries in road mishaps in Ludhiana.
Deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal called the senior officials from the district administration, police, excise and taxation department and municipal corporation (MC), thereby, designing a multi-faceted road safety campaign.
Acting tough against the violators, the traffic wing of the police along with the DTO have challaned 215 people for drunken driving since October 2014. They have also issued challans to 1,821 drivers for speeding, while 473 drivers have been challaned for violating various other traffic norms. In addition, the DTO has challaned 66 school buses during the same period.
Over the past few days during the drive, those challaned include judicial magistrate Tanveer Singh, who is deputed at Nawanshahr; a son of Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa; and an Orbit transport company bus (owned by Badal clan, including deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal) going from Ludhiana to Barnala.
MC puts up boards
The MC has also put up boards on 80 locations, carrying slogans highlighting traffic rules. "Mobile phones kill more people than guns do"; "Don't be angry bird, wait for the signal"; "Headlights can be replaced, heads can't" are some of the eye-catching slogans.
In order to discourage drunken driving - the main cause of fatal road accidents - the excise and taxation department has put up such boards at 40 marriage palaces and bars.
DC Agarwal said, "Unfortunately we had been losing lives regularly due to speeding cars. Call it VIP culture or reduced respect for law, it is detrimental for one and all. Hence, we launched this initiative with all the stakeholders joining in a transparent manner."