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Friday , 19 April 2024

Road Safety Week 2012 held all over the country

As is being done since several years throughout the country, Road Safety Week was observed throughout the country by different government and non-governmental organisations. While in most of the places it began on January 1, 2012 and ended on January 07, many places observed it as a Road Safety Fortnight. Some states like Rajasthan, given the onslaught of the cold wave, observed the week towards the end of the month. Traffic Police of various cities, NGOs, training institutes and companies involved in road safety chalked out their own plans under the guidelines issued by Nitin R Gokarn, Joint Secretary to the Government of India (Ministry of Road Transport & Highways) on November 14, 2011.

Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI) has been associated with the Road Safety Week since many years. This year, the organisation distributed road safety literature — pamphlets and booklets on road safety, and took feedback from motorists and commuters on traffic hurdles and the state of road infrastructure in different parts of the country. It also displayed flex banners on road safety at important road intersections, at RTOs and at transport department offices in various states, displaying this year’s road safety theme, “Accidents bring tears and Safety brings cheers”. To educate the students and pupils, it organised an on-the-spot painting competition with road safety as its theme. The pamphlets that were distributed included slogans like “Learning to Drive,” “Driving License is no License for disaster…” and the booklets had subjectes like “Think Before You Drive” and “Make Cars Green”. The literature was distributed to pedestrians and drivers of two wheelers and four-wheelers on busy intersections. In addition, these were also handed over on a daily basis to the trainees of AASU’s Driving School. Other programmes included eye camps for drivers above 50 years and face-to-face interactive sessions with different drivers – women, teenagers and older drivers. AAUI also sought the drivers’ support for its campaign “Make Roads Safe” by launching a signature campaign. A specially designed New Year card incorporating the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ message “Accidents bring tears, Safety bring cheers” was printed and distributed.

Pune-based Ace Driving & Road Safety Education Pvt Ltd (ADRSE), an institute which trains drivers in minimising road crashes and fatalities, organised road safety programmes in different parts of Maharashtra. A programme at Abbott Healthcare, Mumbai and one at Abbott Healthcare, Kolkata were included. It led an awareness drive at the transport department at Dhule. Other programmes included a “Train the Trainers” programme at Airoli, Navi Mumbai.

The All India Federation of Motor Vehicle Department Technical Executive Officers Association (AIFMVDTEOA) organised a programme at Pimpri-Chinchward, Pune in which reflective tapes were fitted on bicycles and bullock carts as an enhanced safety measure. Banners displaying this year’s Road Safety Week slogan “Accidents bring tears and Safety brings cheers”, and other messages such as “Don’t drink and drive” were put up at important traffic intersections and prime locations in 25 states including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Delhi. Special essay writing competitions and drawing competitions highlighting the theme of road safety were held in high schools for pupils from standard VIII onwards and students of colleges. The Federation also organised a walkathon in Jammu and Kashmir to highlight the importance of road safety and promote the Road Safety Week. A special eye camp for checking the eyesight of drivers of commercial vehicles was also a part of its initiatives.

The Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM) and SAFE (Society of Automotive Fitness & Environment) organised more than 100 Refresher Training Programmes for drivers and students at 3500 automobile dealer outlets all over India. Workshops, talks, seminars and awareness drives were also conducted. Drivers were given refresher tips in driving, especially safe driving, and road safety tips. Free tyre check-up camps and awareness drives were held in New Delhi in association with J K Tyres. A Road Safety Training Programme for three wheeler drivers was held along with Delhi Traffic Police and Bajaj Auto Ltd. Trainers from Hubert Ebner India Ltd and IIJT Education Pvt Ltd provided faculty support. The former was the training partner in the programmes in North India, North East India (Agartala), Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The three wheeler drivers were provided special training sessions in soft skills, road rules and regulations, road safety, defensive driving and vehicle maintenance by experts in the respective fields. Road Safety Workshops for drivers were also held in Chandigarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Health check-up camps for heavy commercial vehicle drivers were conducted in 11 states with the assistance of Transport Corporation of India (TCI) Foundation. In these, counselling was provided and eye check-ups, blood pressure and blood check-ups were carried out and free medicines were distributed.

In Mumbai, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the two week campaign ‘Road Safety 2012’ organised by Mumbai Traffic Police. Home Minister R R Patil, additional chief secretary (Home) U Sarangi and State Transport Department officials were present on the occassion. Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff was made the brand ambassador for the campaign. The Mumbai traffic police organised several programmes in the city including free check-ups of vehicles and an eye check-up camp for drivers. Road Safety lectures were held for auto rickshaw drivers, BEST bus drivers, BMC motor vehicle drivers and school bus drivers at the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA)’s office at Churchgate and also at the Traffic Control Branch office at Worli. The Traffic Control Branch also organised plays based on the theme of road safety, presented by Mujib Khan of Ideal Drama and Entertainment Academy. Road Safety Lectures were held for the entire duration of the road safety campaign.

In Kerala, NATPAC (National Transportation Planning and Research Centre) observed Road Safety 2012 by screening audiovisual programmes on road safety for the public at its pavilion in Kanakakunnu Palace. These 25 minute telefilms included instructions and road safety rules for school children, pedestrians, auto rickshaw drivers and school bus drivers. Two films, ‘Gathi’ and ‘Savari’, dealt with road safety measures for two wheelers and three wheelers. ‘Right Steps’ educated school children while ‘Vazhi Kannumayi’ explained the safety rules for pedestrians. Pamphlets and booklets on road safety were also distributed. Painting competitions as well as quiz and elocution competitions for pupils and students were conducted at Sasthra Bhavan, Pattom. A panel discussion on ‘Safer roads for Kerala’ was held at Mascot Hotel. Kerala Transport Minister V S Sivakumar inaugurated ‘Road Safety and Youth Leadership’, a new programme conceived by NATPAC.

Road Safety activists in Bangalore celebrated Road Safety 2012 with a difference – by giving roses to drivers who followed road safety rules. The activists, about 65 employees of ISS (Integrated Facility Services), in association with the traffic police, also stopped motorists who violated traffic rules and educated them on various aspects of road safety. Seat belts were donated to those who complained of old and unclean seat belts and it was ensured that the car drivers used seat belts. The drive focussed on auto rickshaws, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)’s Volvo buses, cabs, cars and two wheelers. The ISS conducted similar campaigns in major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata with more than 600 employees of ISS participating in them.

In New Delhi, student traffic volunteers from the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE)’s Student Traffic Volunteers Scholarship Scheme (STVS) interacted with motorists and pedestrians at different places in the city, giving them special pamphlets and educating them on the proper use of seat belts, crossing the road safely, using helmets according to law, respecting the right of way of pedestrians and observing discipline at bus stops. The STVS scheme, which encourages student participation in traffic management and education, provides valuable support to the efforts of the local traffic police. The scheme has been sponsored since 2006 by Hyundai Motors as a part of its corporate social responsibility efforts.

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