The photo of a policeman standing with his hands folded in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district in front of a man on a motorcycle with four of his family members riding pillion went viral on Tuesday.
The incident happened when Circle Inspector B Shubh Kumar of Anantapur’s Madakasira Circle, who was going to work, saw the man, K Hanumantharayudu, on a bike with his two sons sitting on the fuel tank, his wife behind him and a relative on edge of the seat.
“I had just finished an one-and-half hour programme on road safety awareness in which that man was also present. 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 minimum sense of responsibility towards them. As the two kids were sitting on the fuel tank, he had little room to manouevre 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,’’ Shubh Kumar said.
However, the policeman said the person was a repeat offender and he had warned him many times before. “He also did not wear a helmet and none of his family members too had one. This also puts others on the road at risk. He was totally unconcerned about the danger,” said a fuming Kumar, who along with five sub-inspectors have been conducting road safety programmes in the Madakasira area.
“This is a remote area and traffic awareness among people is very low. We have been conducting such programmes for the past four months by showing videos of road safety, 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,” he said.