Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Police to act tough on wheelies

Police to act tough on wheelies
Chethan Kumar, Bangalore, Aug 23, DHNS:

Having failed to effectively curb the wheeling by youngsters in the City, the Bangalore Traffic Police have now sought the help of the public to put an end to such activities.

"Next time you see a rider zooming past you with the front wheel up in the air, note down the registration number and call us," a senior police official said.

“Response'ability' dwells in our soul, make a difference," that's what cops tell citizens in the City. Unable to stop the youth from over-speeding and performing stunts on roads, the police have been creating awareness about over-speeding, drag-racing and dangerous driving among other things.

As places like Sarjapur road - once the 'mecca' of drag-racing and stunts -- Marathahalli, Jayanagar, BMIC roads and other popular havens are on the police checklist, such activities have reduced. However, the youth have found newer places to indulge in thrills.

One such place is the newly inaugurated expressway to Electronic City. With Rs 20 and Rs 40 (toll fee) for two-wheelers and four-wheelers respectively, this stretch of road - black and smooth - is turning out to be the place to be for 'wheelies' (riding on one wheel) and drags. With about eight km of road with little disturbance on one stretch, the bike and ability to ride are one's passport to perch oneself in the racers' pit. The road, which quietly did rounds in the racers' circles, is one of the preferred spots for eye-popping wheelies and opiating speed.

Police strict and cautious

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood admitted that the police have failed in completely stopping such activities. But, he immediately added: "We cannot have policemen everywhere.

We're an extension of the society and the society must co-operate and help us in identifying places this happens in order to curb them."

In fact, even last week the police had booked a case each in Basavanagudi and Malleswaram for dangerous driving and speeding. Sood added that this is not only a nuisance but also a cause of concern for the youth. "The next time you see somebody on a 'wheelie' or over-speeding, note down the number and please call the nearest station," he added.

Violators beware

The police have been taking over-speeding and dangerous driving seriously, and consider it a threat to the youth in Bangalore.

"We've been strictly instructed to file FIR and seize the vehicle every time we catch an offender for breaking the speed limit or for dangerous driving," said Vijay, a traffic cop. Generally, Rs 300 penalty is collected for such offences. Now, the police are filing the FIR and seizing the vehicle so that the parents are aware of their children's indulgence in such activities.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood said: "We've taken this very seriously as it is a matter of concern. We want the parents to know that what their children are up to."

In fact, there have already been hundreds of cases where the cops have insisted that the parents appear before them to get the vehicles released.

"We make it a point to counsel parents before returning the bike, so that they too take additional responsibility," Sood added.

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