Here is a word of caution for motorists and bikers in Bhubaneswar who use mobile phones while driving.
The transport department is all set to penalize them with the help of a group of camerapersons, who will be fanned across the city to photograph their traffic violations.
According to the decision, which comes into effect from today, the regional transport office (RTO) will felicitate citizens with cash rewards if they take photographs of traffic violators.
The hard copies of the photographs will have to be physically delivered to the RTO, Bhubaneswar (II). The informer will get a cash reward of Rs 50 per photograph. “Anyone can take the photograph. But the visual must clearly establish the identity of the offender and the vehicle used,” said regional transport officer S.K. Behera.
The funds for this will come from Odisha Road Safety Society.
The authorities will use the photographs to issue challans to the erring drivers.
Those who will be caught using mobile phone while driving, overloading passenger vehicles, carrying passengers in goods carriers, over-speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol will be penalised Rs 1000 for the first offence and Rs 2000 for the second. Driving licence of the offender will be suspended for three months.
Until now, police were using CCTV footage to penalize traffic violators in the city.
The disturbing trend of mobile phone use during driving has gone up in Bhubaneswar in the past few months, going by the number of police crackdowns on violators.
While only 28 persons were fined in August, the figure went up to 199 in September and 265 in October this year. Police said 30 accidents (no casualty) were reported in the last four months due to use of mobile phones by bikers and drivers.
The transport department has also decided to start a special enforcement drive to check the pollution certificates of private vehicles from today. The drive has been launched in cities such as Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Angul, Jharsuguda, Berhampur, Balasore and Baripada.