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Hand-cart pullers to get fluorescent jackets, head gear for easy identification

Kolkata: Taking a unique measure to ensure that no accidents take place in Howrah due to slow moving vehicles, mainly at night, the police are providing reflective fluorescent jackets to hand-cart pullers. They will also be provided with head gears fitted with torch lights to ensure that they are easily identified by vehicles appearing from the opposite direction.
The project is a part of the Safe Drive Save Life campaign launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to check road accidents in the state.
Hundreds of hand carts, commonly known as thela, still operate in the urban parts of the district and are mainly used to transport iron rods and bars from one point to another.
Plying of these carts enhance chances of accident as it becomes difficult for drivers of other vehicles to identify them and the pullers as there is neither any light in it nor any easy identification signages. There have been many such cases in which a vehicle hit a cart at night time failing to identify it.
The cops have hence, initiated steps to provide reflective fluorescent jackets and the cart operators have to put them on when they will be on duty at night.
"They can be easily identified from a distance once they put on the jacket and it will reduce the chances of accident," said a senior officer of the Howrah Police adding that at the same time reflective stickers will also be pasted on the thelas for easy identification.
"Seeing the reflective signage from a distance, drivers of other vehicles will understand that a cart is approaching them and can take necessary measures to avoid a collision," the officer added.
At the same time, the police will provide them head gears fitted with torch lights. It will help the cart pullers and vehicles approaching from the opposite direction to easily calculate the distance of the thela from their vehicles.
Carts in Howrah mainly ply at areas including Shalimar in Shibpur, Liluah, Ghusuri, Salkia and some parts of Belur. The police will start distributing jackets and other materials among these cart-pullers at Shibpur. Later, the same will be implemented in the remaining areas.
An awareness programme was organised at Shibpur where the same has been distributed among 100 thela pullers.
At the same time they were shown video footages of accidents in which carts were involved and they were made aware of the situations that often lead to accidents. Some toto drivers were also brought in to participate in the awareness campaign.
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