Pune: Counselling a Puneite about obeying traffic rules is a tough job. This was re-established during the first counselling session of around 500 traffic rule violators at the Police Headquarter in Shivajinagar on Friday.
The session was jointly organised by the RTO and the Traffic Police at the Police Ground.
On the occasion, the chief guest, Pune Regional Transport Officer Babasaheb Ajari, was bombarded with suggestions by the audience. The suggestions included improving the width of the narrow city roads and repairing potholes, faulty construction of speed breakers, safety guarantee on using the helmet, lack of synergy between the RTO and the traffic police, etc.
A youngster even claimed that he will voluntarily buy helmets if the government buys bullet-proof jackets for the police personnel. This suggestion drew an applause. After hearing suggestions, Ajari said the first mistake on the road can be one’s last mistake. Those against the compulsory implementation of the helmet rule should interact with the families of road accident victims, who would concur with the mandatory helmet rule.
Renowned psychiatrist Dr R Jahagirdar explained the behavioural aspects behind committing traffic rule violations. He said there is no ‘machoness’ in rash driving and breaking rules as it can result only in disaster.
Social activist Qaneez Sukhrani said, “We follow traffic rules impeccably in foreign countries but behave opposite in our own hometown.” Kalyan Raman of Mission Safer Roads said any common citizen can act as a traffic ambassador. DCP (Traffic) Tejaswi Satpute asked the audience to consider the counselling as an opportunity rather than punishment.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Sharfoddein Sheikh (64), a retired bank officer now working as a delivery executive with Uber Eats, lamented that he was charged for not wearing a helmet near MIT College when he had approached the police for address confirmation. He added that the compulsory helmet rule will be effective from January 1, 2019 but he was booked in December.
Prashant Deshpande (40), a businessman, narrated that while driving his car, he was booked for speaking on mobile phone. However, he was actually singing along with the music. Deshpande was particularly upset due to unnecessary booking and rude behaviour of the police constable.