To make Calcutta a safer city, a campaign titled ‘Responsible Riders’ was launched this weekend by Calcutta Police and Calcutta Walks, in association with The Telegraph and Friends FM.
Around 50 bikers assembled at Prinsep Ghat at 2 PM on Saturday. From there, they rode through thoroughfares such as Park Circus Connector, AJC Bose Road, Rashbehari Connector, Syed Amir Ali Avenue and Red Road to spread the message.
An innovative exercise
The journey culminated at Lalbazar where every rider will, in the presence of senior officers of the traffic department of Calcutta Police, took the Responsible Riders pledge:
- I will always wear a helmet while riding my bike
- I will speak up against eve-teasing
- I will report road accidents to the police
- I will keep the papers of my vehicle in order
- I will always stick to the rules of the road
- I will always be courteous to fellow motorists, pedestrians
- I will not honk unnecessarily
- I will not over-speed
- I will not overtake from the wrong side
- I will not engage in racing
- I will not ride triple
- I will not use the cell phone while riding
This ritual will be repeated every Saturday afternoon for the next two months, bringing many bikers into the Responsible Riders fold.
“A large section of bikers in Calcutta are safe bikers and ride their two-wheelers with responsibility towards fellow motorists and pedestrians. They feel that they get the raw end of the stick and the image of the entire biking community gets tarnished by a handful of mischief-makers. The Responsible Riders campaign will provide an opportunity to a silent majority to come forward and make themselves heard,” said Soumen Mitra, special commissioner, Calcutta police.
“Through the Responsible Riders campaign, we want to ally with one of the stakeholders, the responsible bikers, and through them spread the message of safe biking to those in their peer group who may not be abiding by the rules,” explained Soumen Mitra at Lalbazar.Join the revolution
For future rides you may apply through https://www.facebook.com/CalcuttaWalks
. After clearing a small screening, ride in.
“It is important to highlight those riders who believe in following the rule of the law. An aspiring biker will either have to get a recommendation or pass a screening to join the group,” said Iftekhar Ahsan of Calcutta Walks.
What will be your responsibility as a member of this movement? An unwritten buddy code in the biking community is that each ‘good’ biker looks up to the other within the community. So, it will be your responsibility to inspire other bikers in your locality, in your peer group or even at a dhaba that you frequent to catch a cuppa to join and spread the spirit.
So, if you are a biker and want to put your hand up and be counted to make Calcutta a safer city, this is your chance to vroom into action.