The City Police have launched a drive to spot the good Samaritans among autorickshaw and taxi drivers, along with stepping up the drive against the erring ones.

In the first phase, cash awards ranging from Rs.200 to Rs.500 are released to drivers who use fare meters regularly and behave well with passengers. “The feedback of the passengers is collected from our web site and online communities like Facebook, where City Police have accounts,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

The next important phase of this drive will come with the City Police issuing badges certifying that the drivers could be relied for good behaviour. “We are presently working on a couple of designs,” said Mr. Abraham.

Along with collecting feedbacks from the passengers, the City Police also employed members of the theatre team so that they could evaluate as to how these drivers reacted. The policemen, under various disguises of accident victim, drug peddler and anti-social characters, simulated scenes of tension calling for pro-active steps from the drivers.

“The idea was to check how they reacted to these situations, whether they exhibited social responsibilities at the time of crisis. During the pilot phase of this drive, nearly 20 autorickshaw drivers have been selected over the period of last one month,” said Rahul R. Nair, Assistant Commissioner of Police, City Traffic (West).

The badge certifying the character of the driver would help passengers, especially single women and elder passengers, to move around the city more confidently. If the pilot phase is found to be successful, the City Police are planning to make this exercise a regular affair.

As part of giving incentives for good behaviour, an autorickshaw driver was rewarded on last Monday with cash prize for taking to the police station a bag that contained three Indian passports and related documents. The driver found the bag lying on the road. This concept of issuing certificates of good behaviour seemed to have been inspired by the ‘Adhiti Devo Bhava' campaign by the Department of Tourism in New Delhi, where trained taxi drivers are given certificates.