Lokmanya Hosptial, Pune, in collaboration with the (RTO), Pimpri and the Pimpri Chinchwad Corporation (PCMC) conducted a training programme from Jan 1-10, aimed at creating a cadre of first responders trained in emergency response, and extrication and proper transportation of accident victims to hospitals. A total of 10 workshops were conducted in which 200 responders were trained.
Lokmanya hospital also launched a trauma card to help accident victims during their hospitalization. The card which is valid for one year offers a 50 percent discount for accident victims admitted to the hospital, and comes for a nominal charge of `100, excluding medicine and implants. There is no age limit for the use of the card.
During this same period the Lokmanya Medical Foundation’s Road Safety Team, in collaboration with Deputy RTO (PCMC), conducted a medical check-up, including breath alcohol levels, for about 2000 heavy motor vehicle drivers at the Nigdi octroi check naka and other places. General health and eye check-ups were conducted by a team of doctors and staff from Lokmanya Hospital. An alcometer was used to detect blood alcohol levels of the drivers. Drivers who tested positive were referred to the nearest government hospital for further detailed blood alcohol estimation, and to the traffic police station for further legislative action. The drivers were also given a kit which highlighted the dangers of drunken driving, and contained tips on defensive driving. As part of the event, greeting cards with a message against Drunken Driving were distributed to the general public at restaurants and bars. January 2nd was also observed as “Road Traffic Accident Victims Remembrance Day”. On the occasion Lokmanya Hospital and the Pune-Chinchwad RTO exhibited 300 pair of shoes, including some belonging to road crash victims, to convey a sense of the large number of accidents that take place, and the subsequent trauma felt by family members. Lighted candles and balloons were also released. On January 4th was a half-day seminar on “Youth and Road Safety” in which young drivers who had recently begun driving, and those training to drive, attended. Seminar topics covered included risks taken by young drivers, usage of helmets, hazards of sloppy driving habits, and specific interventions that have proved effective in changing driving habits.
On January 10th a Teachers’ Training Workshop was organised for encouraging school principals and teachers to develop a School Action Plan for Road Safety Education. Some of the topics discussed included “Road accidents and Children” and “Issues in road safety of school children and role of schools”. State Education Department officials, school principals, school teachers and school children representatives attended. On January 9th four road safety rallies were organised, passing through 4 municipal areas. Charts, banners and placards on various road safety themes were displayed, including charts on ambulances. Road Safety hoardings were put up at prominent traffic intersections. Plays were also enacted by college students during the rallies.