The Thoku, Honker : Police Use Humour

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Kolkata: Laughter is one of the distinguishing features of human beings, little is known about the mechanisms behind it. It could be the best medicine for erratic drivers, believes the Kolkata traffic police. It is ready with a unique campaign -a series of cartoons -that identify and categories driving offences.

Humour could be the perfect tool for managing conflicts and reducing tension when emotions are running high on the road, it was felt. So, the new campaign, after a series of innovative campaigns in the previous years, aims to drive home points by tickling the funny bone.

According to the campaign, the city has 12 kinds of drivers who disobey rules. They are -a Pilot, who thinks he is flying a car, a Fully Loaded, who always overloads, a Guru, a typical autodriver who wants only a little space to wriggle out of a snarl, a Road Blocker, an old is gold motorist who refuses to dump his old rickety car that often breaks down.

Then there are the motorists like a Thoku who keeps ramming other vehicles. If they don’t find other vehicles, they will just ram a lamp post. A Honker will honk without reason. A Tortoise refuses to accelerate even if the road is free leaving a long queue of cars behind him. While a Wanderer is the one who often takes uncharted territory to make a shortcut or to discover a new road, a Back-Seat driver is one who keeps instructing his driver, leaving him utterly confused.

The night owl is the most dangerous motorist, who takes to the wheel in an inebriated state. Once caught, he may drop names to wriggle out of trouble. Then there is the Young Blood or the learner.They tend to treat the `L’ sign dangling on the windscreen as a licence to collide.

There are catchy captions with each cartoon. For instance, the Guru always shouts `Ik Bajoo Hat’. The Old is Gold sings `Pehla Car Pehla Pyar’. The Thoku keeps saying `Sorry Bhaiya.’ The principle of Tortoise is simple: he only competes with himself. The Night Owl only says, `Tu Janta Nahi Mein Kaun Hu’.

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