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News Entry# 388745
  
Aug 14 (12:00) RPF to prosecute jaywalkers (www.thehindu.com)
Commentary/Human Interest
SR/Southern
0 Followers
1472 views

News Entry# 388745  Blog Entry# 4401414   
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Offenders to be jailed for six months
Having launched an awareness campaign to educate train passengers of the dangers of jaywalking across railway tracks, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is set to shift to enforcement very shortly by prosecuting offenders.
The RPF had launched the campaign ‘Life is Precious’ initially at the Ernakulam Junction station before gradually expanding it to major railway stations across the Thiruvananthapuram railway division.
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campaign is now under way at various railway stations, including Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Chengannur.As of now, jaywalkers are let off with a warning after counselling and handing out awareness pamphlets urging them not to risk their lives. “But we are planning to replace awareness with enforcement as jaywalking across railway tracks is a punishable offence. Already we are announcing over the public address system that jaywalkers are engaged in a punishable offence for which they could be prosecuted,” said T.S. Gopakumar, Assistant Security Commissioner, RPF, Ernakulam.
276 lives lost
The decision to prosecute offenders may not have come a day soon considering the considerable loss of lives on tracks caused by avoidable reasons like jaywalking across tracks, using mobiles while boarding or alighting from trains, or jump off moving trains. Last year, 276 lives were lost in Thiruvananthapuram railway division in such incidents. The number made a significant jump this year with 178 lives being lost in the first six months alone.
Mr. Gopakumar said that jaywalking across the railway tracks is an offence under Section 147 of the Railway Act entailing imprisonment for a term which may extend up to six months or with fine which may extend up to ₹1,000 or both.
With its manpower set to get a boost with the temporary engagement of ex-servicemen in the existing vacancies, the RPF hopes a seamless shift from awareness to enforcement in the near future.
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