CHENNAI: Two years ago, when a group of volunteers from NGO Thozhan witnessed a road accident caused by rash driving in which five boys were injured, they resolved to conduct road safety campaigns on the last Sunday of every month.
“Every day, close to 70 people in India don’t return home because of road accidents. Among them, 20 to 25 are children and the rest are in the 25 to 40 age group,” says Sabarivas from Thozhan. Many of these accidents, he feels, could be prevented and it is not right for one to always blame the police.
“Many families are losing lives because of some people who do not take road safety seriously,” Sabarivas says.
The State accounts for 8.3 per cent of all accidental deaths, which increased by 1.4 per cent at the National level, during 2013 as compared to 2012, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics.
During the campaigns, groups of volunteers, including schoolchildren and working professionals, meet at traffic signals and proceed to hand over pamphlets and make awareness speeches.
”We also paste bullseye stickers on headlights of vehicles. Many people use high beam and do not realise that this affects the drivers of vehicles coming from the opposite direction. We hand out these stickers which can disperse the light and thus prevent accidents,” says Sabarivas.
He also rues that several basic traffic regulations and signs are often misinterpreted, for instance, the amber light in traffic signals.
“While in other countries this one signals people to slow down, in India, it is used as an excuse to zip past faster before it turns red. “These rules, if followed in earnest, can prevent many accidents,” says Sabarivas.
This Sunday, the group will meet at 10 different areas including T Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Anna Nagar and other heavy traffic areas, for the campaign.
Contact 9884966613 for details.