Kind words better than threats to discipline traffic

Published: 22nd August 2016 04:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2016 04:49 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Ever wondered if those traffic signboards that issue ‘death threats’ – Speed Thrills but Kills, etc – worked? Maybe, the better alternative would be gentler warnings.

The Brigade Road signal on MG Road was brimming with kinder traffic messages, on placards held up by a group of youngsters, on Sunday. “We don’t want to impose, we just want to request,” said Surendran M Krishnan, founder of Volunteer For a Cause.

Volunteers approached the swarm of vehicles at the signal with hand-made charts that carried Thank You messages. “Thank you for wearing the helmet”, “Thank you for giving way to ambulance”, “Thank you for wearing your seat belt”, “Thank you for not honking” etc.

Surendran said that the idea came from an officer at the police commissioner’s office, which the group had approached for permission to hold their first traffic campaign. “I don’t remember his name, but I’m thankful to him,” said Surendran. “We have people messaging us on Facebook saying how we stopped them from breaking traffic rules.”

This initiative was started almost two years ago when Bangalore Traffic Police issued a report on road accidents. “796 people died in road accidents that year because of negligence. Following simple traffic rules would’ve saved their lives,” said Surendran. “Most of the rule breakers are educated people,” he added.

The campaign was first executed, ten days after the report was made public, at the Silk Board signal with ten volunteers. Since then, they’ve been demonstrating at different signals every third Sunday. In 23 months, they’ve covered 17 locations.

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