LUCKNOW: Passengers travelling in buses in Uttar Pradesh are being offered prizes to click pictures of drivers talking on mobile phones while behind the wheel.
It's the latest brain wave of the new government in UP, a new initiative to curb road accidents.
Uttar Pradesh transport minister Swatantra Dev Singh said passengers can WhatsApp such photographs to his ministry. The errrant driver will be tracked down and punished, and the sender will be given a cash reward.
The minister did not say how much cash will be doled out to the snitches.
Swatantra Dev Singh said the initiative has been getting an encouraging response and that the idea was helping in two ways: "Passengers are feeling empowered to report use of mobile phones while driving, and it is helping in instilling a sense of responsibility among drivers, who know that if they use mobile phones, they will be clicked," the minister said in an interview with PTI.
The state-owned UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) runs 11,851 buses, ferrying 1.4 million people over 3 million km every day. It earns over Rs 70 million everyday.
Swatantra Dev Singh lamented that a large number of accidents were occurring due to traffic rule violations. "Accidents are taking place due to lack of awareness about traffic rules. I want UPSRTC and other departments to formulate plans to ensure safety of passengers," he said.
The minister's concerns came against the backdrop of several major accidents taking place in UP in recent days.
On June 5, 25 passengers were charred to death and several others were injured when a bus collided head on with a truck and burst into flames on National Highway 24 in Bareilly.
In another accident on June 11, ten people, including five women, of a family drowned after their car fell into a canal in the Makera area in Mathura.