Motorcycle riders in Bihar's Motihari town are getting the surprise of their lives upon being let off by police for riding without helmet or lapsed insurance, but not before they purchase the headgear from vendors or get their policy renewed through agents present there.
The drive has been launched in East Champaran district's Motihari by Chhatauni police station SHO Mukesh Chandra Kunwar.
"I roped in some helmet sellers and insurance agents who have set up stalls beside the checking points. Riders are not being fined as that makes them feel like they are offenders. Instead, they are made to purchase good quality helmets and get their insurance renewed," he told PTI.
The officer said he has also requested the District Transport Officer to depute an official who could issue learner's licence on the spot to offenders riding without it.
Kunwar said the unique method came to his mind after coming to the conclusion that only imposing hefty fines will not ensure that people are careful the next time.
"Also, there is a growing impression among the public that the amended MV Act has given a free hand to the police to act as extortionists. Such trust deficit is detrimental to policing," he said.
The SHO said Motihari's historic importance as the land where Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917 had inspired him for the cause.
"I drew inspiration from the town's historical legacy and came up with the plan which could help us achieve the objective of the amended MV Act in a humane yet effective way," he said.
However, Kunwar said that all offences can't be let off with goodwill gestures.
"If a person is found driving rash or under the influence of alcohol -- sale and consumption of which is banned in Bihar -- then we are left with no option but to take action according to the law," he said.