Kicks off in 2011 to increaseu00a0 traffic safety awareness
Navi Mumbai traffic police is focusing on young school-goers to get the message of road safety across to residents. Scheduled from January 1 to 15, 2011, the Road Safety Awareness Week organised by the traffic department in Navi Mumbai will be an amalgamation of several functions, rallies and competitions aimed at enlightening the public about the dangers of careless driving and DUI (driving under influence) among other issues.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Shrikant Dhivare, says, "As per the directions of State home minister, RR Patil, this year, the traffic awareness week will last a fortnight. We*re focusing on children this year so that they will go and tell their family about it. In this way, all the members of the family can learn about it."
Till date, the number of accidents in Navi Mumbai have gone up as have the number of deaths and casualties. The danger zones are the extremely busy Thane-Belapur Highway, Mumbai-Goa Highway and the JNPT area.
The numbers of accidents have gone up to 1,645 as compared to last year*s tally of 1,436. Compared to last year, 40 more people have died this year due to road accidents (350 as compared to last year*s 319). The number of causalities this year has gone up too, from 847 last year to 987 till date.
"We*re printing over 2,000 copies of the road safety 2011 booklet for school kids studying in classes eight, nine and 10. The book will have cartoons with messages of safe driving, wearing helmets while driving to convey the message to youngsters," said Dhivare.
Vashi, the busiest node of Navi Mumbai and the most troubled by traffic jams, seems to be in need of traffic safety awareness. Satish Gaikwad, a traffic inspector from Vashi says, "We have a four-step programme lined up for the road safety function.
There will be a Road Safety Patrol of about 200 students. Students from Father Agnels, St Mary*s, St Lawrence and some other high schools will be joining in. By including students we aim to achieve jan jagruti (public awareness)."
However, Lokesh Srivastava, a 25-year old PR executive and Navi Mumbai resident who works in Colaba, says, "I admit that Colaba and Navi Mumbai traffic arrangements are much better off as compared to places like Andheri and Bandra.
However, these camps have been held in the past also and I haven*t really seen any improvements. Also, even though there are enough constables at certain traffic junctions in the city, most of them don*t have the means to catch up with a speeding car/ bike which might break the rules."
Srivastava, who had been in a serious bike accident in 2008 which resulted in one fatal casualty, says that the public should notice these events. "The authorities should hold events at a time when the public will notice them, instead of conducting them in the afternoon when the roads might be empty."