CHENNAI: In keeping with their two-year-old annual tradition, Thozan.org held a massive traffic awareness campaign across the city on Sunday. The campaign began at 4.30 pm at 100 signals across the city. “We usually do this on the fourth Sunday of each month, but have been carrying out this massive rally for two years now,” said Nakkeeran P of Thozan. “While the latest helmet rule has helped, we want to create more awareness amongst youngsters specially, as many of them have been meeting with deadly road accidents,” he added. Letika Saran IPS, former Director General of Police, and Anwar Basha, Assistant Commissioner of Police-Traffic, flagged off the campaign at the Tidel Park signal,
“If reports are to be believed, 26 persons die every hour on Indian roads. Not wearing helmets and ignoring traffic rules are the main reasons,” Letika said. “I hope this campaign brings change,” she added and distributed pamphlets to motorists.
As part of the campaign, members of Vallamai, a dance-cum-theatre group, performed a dance drama stressing the importance of following traffic rules. “It is a very important issue, while 90 per cent of people have started wearing helmets, there are many who flout the rules by talking on the phone while driving, or drunk driving. It is very important to address such issues,” said Kalanithi Manimaran of the team.
Other places where the campaign was held at the same time with the help of other NGOs were Adyar, Ambattur, Alwarpet, Teynampet, Anna Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Egmore, Guindy, Kodambakkam, Mylapore, Nungambakkam, OMR, Pallavaram, Perambur, Porur, Saidapet, Tambaram, Thiruvanmiyur, Triplicane/Mount Road, T Nagar, Vadapalani, Velachery, Virugambakkam, Central and Purasawalkam.
“We also have the same event happening in Salem, Dindigul and Namakkal districts at the same time,” said Nakkeeran. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, over the years, statistics relating to accidents continue to reveal a shocking picture. Some of the key points of the 2014 data reveal that 24.9 per cent victims of road accidents were on two wheelers. Tamil Nadu has reported the maximum number of road accidents accounting for 15 per cent of such accidents in the country and 15,190 deaths. Most victims of accident deaths are in the age group of 15 to 44 years. This group accounts for more than half (59.4%) of the number killed in accidents in the country during 2013. “We wish people become more aware and responsible in the future,” added Nakkeeran.