Focus on road safety at last!

The Road Safety Week was launched on Sunday by Police Commissioner Letika Saran near Spencer Plaza. The campaign was conducted by the police in eleven places in the city, including Kathipara Junction, Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Roundtana, Eldams Road and Adyar. Pamphlets were distributed outlining the dangers of over speeding, drunken driving etc.

Yesterday it was the turn of the Transport Department with the Transport Minister flagging off a rally from the Munroe statue. Once again pamphlets were distributed, and sweets to the policemen! While this is a welcome move on the occasion of the road safety week, what would be even better is to have a year round program on road safety. For a one time effort such as this will have little effect overall.

The police, for example, could conduct classes in all the city schools to educate children on safe use of the road. Children, after all, are very strong influencers, and are quite capable of shaming their dads and moms into driving or riding responsibly. The police could also work with the HR depts of large companies to make presentations to the employees on safe use of the road, and the dangers of using it without following basic rules and courtesies. The same could be done for college students.

Its only by having a concerted year round program like this, supported by educational institutions and companies that a real difference can be made in shaping public opinion and effecting a change in behavior. The media could also partner with the police and contribute through interviews on TV and radio, as well as with articles on road safety in all the language and English papers and magazines. Outdoor could also be used to create awareness and sensitivity to road safety.

I was glad to see that an organization called ‘Citizens for Safe Roads was involved in the campaign on Sunday with the police. Perhaps they could partner with the police for this year long campaign. We at Chennai Metblogs, I am sure, would be happy to support such an effort with periodic messages on road safety. Let’s hope that we see more such initiatives in this year. For this would make a difference to thousands of our citizens who would otherwise be grievously injured or worse on our city’s roads during the year.

1 Comment so far

  1. AB (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 5:41 am

    I have always wondered how our society is going to change, adopt, enforce laws of traffic and lane discipline. We are certainly miles away from sensible driving on the roads. Such government initiatives are signs of hope.

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