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Police launch drive to stop cell phone use by motorists

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TOP BRASS: Director General of Police D. Mukherjee and City Police Commissioner Letika Saran (left) distribute pamphlets bearing messages on dangers of using mobile phones by vehicle drivers, to road safety patrol team members in Chennai on Monday. PHOTO: K.V. SRINIVASAN
TOP BRASS: Director General of Police D. Mukherjee and City Police Commissioner Letika Saran (left) distribute pamphlets bearing messages on dangers of using mobile phones by vehicle drivers, to road safety patrol team members in Chennai on Monday. PHOTO: K.V. SRINIVASAN

Staff Reporter

Mukherjee kicks off campaign in presence of Commissioner of Police "I see so many people talking over mobile phone while driving. It is dangerous"

CHENNAI: The city police on Monday launched a major campaign asking vehicle users to avoid talking over their mobile phones while driving.

With the steady rise in vehicle population, every driver has to concentrate on safe driving, as any distraction can lead to accidents, police said. A recent survey revealed that usage of cell phones while driving had gone up, officials said.

Instead of just imposing fines on violators, the traffic police are trying to educate the people on need to shun cell phones while driving. The campaign highlights how in many cases, talking on mobile phones while driving can be fatal, leaving the drivers' dependents in the lurch.

At a function held near the Gandhi statue on Kamarajar Salai, Director General of Police D Mukherjee launched the campaign in the presence of City Commissioner of Police Letika Saran, Additional Commissioner S R Jangid and other officers.

The DGP himself distributed pamphlets to the road users and public conveying the message `no cell phones while driving.'

As many as 7,000 students from 300 schools, traffic wardens and other volunteers were involved in distributing pamphlets to road users at 300 vantage points in the city.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sunil Kumar said police planned to hold similar public interest campaigns every month in the city on issues that need attention of road users.

He said about two thirds of the schools in the city had active Road Safety Patrol wings. The aim is to spread awareness among motorists through children.

Karthik, a Class 11 student from a school in Chintadripet, said he was interested in taking part in the campaign. "I see so many people talking over the phone while driving. It is dangerous. Even using hands-free equipment is not safe," he pointed out.

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