Click driver talking on mobile, get prize: UP govt to passengers

Click driver talking on mobile, get prize: UP govt to passengers
Highlights

Roadways bus drivers talking on phones while behind the wheels in Uttar Pradesh need to watch out as passengers clicking them while flouting rules will win prizes.

Lucknow: Roadways bus drivers talking on phones while behind the wheels in Uttar Pradesh need to watch out as passengers clicking them while flouting rules will win prizes. Errant drivers will have to cough up fines as part of the state government initiative to deter bus drivers from talking over phones while driving.

"Though there are rules and regulations to prevent use of mobile phones while driving, complaints from passengers keep pouring in. We are now taking help of passengers and have asked them to click photographs of drivers flouting rules and send it to us through Whatsapp," UP Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh told PTI here.

Giving details of the initiative, he said, "After the photographs are received, the concerned driver will be fined and the passengers will get cash reward." Singh said the initiative is getting an encouraging response though the department was yet to compile the number of cases.

"It is a new idea. We can give the data at a later stage," he said, when asked as to how many drivers were fined or passengers rewarded. He said the idea was helping in two ways.

"First the passengers are feeling empowered to report the misuse of mobile phone while driving, and secondly it is helping in instilling a sense of responsibility among drivers, who know that if they use mobile phone, they will be clicked," the minister said in an interview.

Though an offender can be booked under the Motor Vehicles Act, and punished with a jail term extending up to six months and a fine of Rs 1,000, the rule is hardly followed.

The minister said the effort will help in bringing down the number of mishaps caused due to non-attentive drivers, who talk over phone while driving. Singh lamented that a large number of accidents were occurring due to traffic rule violations.

The minister said he has directed the UPSRTC and other departments to formulate plans to ensure safe travel. "It is a matter of concern that everyday we see that due to violation of traffic norms, accidents are taking place," he said. "The accidents which are happening, are taking place due to lack of awareness about traffic rules.

UPSRTC and other departments working in the field of road transport should formulate plans to ensure passengers enjoy safe journey," he said. This will help ordinary citizens become more aware of traffic rules, Singh said. His concerns came against the backdrop of several major accidents taking place in UP in recent days.

On June 5, 25 passengers were charred to death and many others were injured when a bus collided head-on with a truck and burst into flames on National Highway 24 in Bareilly. In another accident on June 11, ten people, including five women, of a family drowned after their car fell into a canal at Makera area in Mathura. Scores of other accidents have also taken place.

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