My first experience of the Road Safety Week

As I drove to Valmiki Nagar Saturday morning, I had my first experience of Chennai’s Road Safety Week activities. There were many volunteers at the signal at the Thiruvanmiyur Junction, handing out leaflets to motorists waiting at the signal, as well as holding up placards with messages such as ‘Better late than never’, ‘Start early, reach safely’ and ‘Don’t jump signals’. It was good to see such efforts, and the public receiving the leaflets handed over to them.

However, the leaflets themselves were a bit disappointing. The messages on them were ‘Remember, don’t use mobile phone or smoke while driving’, ‘Always fasten seat belts while driving’ and ‘Avoid over-speeding and over taking for a safe and happy journey’. This is well and good, but was, in my opinion, a lost opportunity to let us know what the basic rules of the road are which many people don’t seem to know, or have conveniently forgotten. The reverse side of the leaflet was completely blank. It could very easily have had ten road rules that are often flouted to sensitize road users.

I must say, however, that a good beginning has been made and awareness created, well supported by the media. But it is quite shocking though that when the police do talk of road use, for example in interviews in the Hindu, they only speak about reduction of mobile phone use, the number of deaths etc. Even they seem completely in sensitive to the fact that many road users don’t observe any rules, even the most basic rules. Leave alone driving on the wrong side of the road when it strikes their fancy. Surely the interviews could have been used to appeal to the public to be more disciplined and to follow the rules!

That said, I hope we will see a concerted effort over the year to restore some sense of sanity to our roads. This is vitally important at a time when the number of vehicles of all types on our roads is increasing exponentially, with the newer models being faster and more powerful. Our general standards are improving so much across the board- whether it is the quality of housing, the retail experience, cinemas, even roads in some areas, public parks etc. A rise in the discipline and quality of experience on our roads will go a long way towards making Chennai a much better city.

Comments are closed.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.