An officer who had simply given up warning a repeat traffic offender felt he had no choice but to beg the man to take road safety seriously … for not only his own well-being, but for the sake of his family.
In this contrasting moment, captured by a bystander, the helmetless, smiling man, together with two adults and two children—who are momentarily deprived from enjoying the wild lashings of fresh air over their delicate, unprotected heads—sit untroubled, perhaps even a little confused, on their hardworking little scooter, which is treated to a moment of rest.
What else can he do 😅?
— Abhishek Goyal (@goyal_abhei) October 10, 2017
The officer in the photo, B Shubh Kumar of Anantapur’s Madakasira Circle, was on his way to work when he spotted K Hanumantharayudu riding his weighed-down scooter together with his two sons sitting squashed up on top of the fuel tank, his wife behind him, and balancing precariously on the tip of the seat at the back, another relative.
Seeing this man and his four vulnerable passengers taking up every inch of seat space on their overloaded scooter, which is built to accommodate no more than two, really hit the officer.
The shocked officer had only just attended a 1.5-hour program on road safety awareness, which the man on the scooter had ironically also attended.
It seemed, however, that whatever safety tips were given during those 90 minutes had gone in one ear and out the other.
Kumar could not get his head around the fact that this happy-go-lucky man had just seen the program himself, yet here he was riding with his family with a big smile on his face, breaking every rule of traffic safety.
“I had just finished one-and-half hour program on road safety awareness in which that man was also present,” Kumar said, reports The Indian Express. “My mind went blank when I saw the five of them riding so dangerously and all I could do was fold my hands in total resignation, helplessness, and frustration.”
“I asked him to think of the safety of his family as he did not have a minimum sense of responsibility towards them. As the two kids were sitting on the fuel tank, he had little room to maneuver because their legs were stuck to the handlebar. Accidents happen like that only. When I confronted him, he just smiled back at me and murmured something.”
The man, who had been warned numerous times before, said “he was totally unconcerned about the danger,” the officer relayed.
Moreover, Kumar and five sub-inspectors have put in tremendous effort in conducting road safety programs in the Madakasira area.
“This is a remote area and traffic awareness among people is very low. We have been conducting such programs for the past four months by showing videos of road safety, the importance of wearing helmets, perils of overloading, how accidents happen etc.”
“We also show interviews of family members who have lost their loved ones in accidents and how their lives have changed. But some people just don’t care. It is frustrating sometimes,” Kumar said.
It’s not easy for these officers, but they are trying their best.
One person who saw the photo tweeted: “This was fine in the ’90s when the vehicle movement on roads are very less..While I like this photo, it’s not safe anymore…”
Another added: “That was classic! Yes, the policeman’s humble action was a clear msg to the man & his spouse!”
It’s not easy for officers to instill traffic laws in areas where people are still unaware of the changing times. So, hats off to this hardworking traffic officer, even if it involves resorting to desperate means.