Zirakpur: Inspired by Bollywood`s ‘Laage Raho Munna Bhai’, police are giving away roses to traffic violators in Zirakpur, one of the busiest towns in Punjab.
They are also explaining them their faults and distributing pamphlets to spread knowledge about traffic rules.
All this is part of the `traffic awareness week` that began Jan 1. The police have also engaged traffic marshals and social activists to counsel the violators.
"The idea is to make people aware about traffic rules. Normally people follow these rules to avoid challaning and due to fear of the police. But we want them to follow rules on their own," Zirakpur traffic-in-charge Davinder Singh told IANS.
"We are giving roses to the violators, wishing them happy new year and requesting them to not to repeat their offence.
"Our officials are counselling them and listening to their problems. This is a good opportunity for us to get closer to the community," Singh said.
Zirakpur, which falls on the Mohali district, is located on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway. It shares its border with Panchkula town in Haryana, and is considered a gateway to Chandigarh.
"During this week, we will also organise lectures for auto-rickshaw and truck drivers and painting-cum-slogan writing competition on traffic rules in schools," said Singh.
Zirakpur residents are surprised by the initiative.
"Traffic cops giving flowers to violators, I have not seen this happening anywhere. This is an extraordinary initiative," Ankit Sharma, an engineering student and a Zirakpur resident, told IANS.
Teacher Deepti Sharma said: "Normally we are very apprehensive and fearful while talking to police. Yesterday, I forgot to wear seat belt and was caught. To a big surprise, instead of issuing a slip, they gave me flowers and wished me for 2011. Full points for the Punjab Police!"
There is always heavy traffic in Zirakpur as the town is used by those coming from Haryana and Delhi to reach Chandigarh.
According to police records, in 2010 4,886 vehicles were challaned in Zirakpur from Jan 1 to Dec 10 and around Rs.14 lakh was recovered as fine. In 2009, 2,684 vehicles were challaned.