By the time schools reopen after summer vacations and traffic cacophony builds up further, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) traffic directorate would have given wings to their novel plan to issue live traffic alerts on facebook and twitter.
A brainchild of UP’s additional director general of police (ADG) and director (traffic) Anil Agarwal, the plan involves tapping social media to help decongest the state’s chaotic traffic scene.
With more and more people taking to social media, the live alerts about traffic snarls or chaos would help forewarn ‘people about the routes they should avoid due to any emergency.’
As part of the plan, which the UP DGP AK Jain described as ‘out of the box thinking,’ the traffic police have also issued whatsapp numbers in 16 districts through which people would be urged to make suggestions on how to improve the traffic scene or make complaints.
Agarwal invited social media expert Rakshit Tandon from Agra to brief traffic cops from across the state in order to prepare them for the traffic management challenge. “We helped the traffic police personnel realise how to handle twitter and facebook, how to sync the two and post live traffic updates,” said Tandon, who is also an advisor to the cyber crime cell of UP police in Agra.
DGP Jain lauded Agarwal’s initiative and announced that the state government has already decided to clear the existing vacancies both in the traffic department as well as in other wings of the UP police. Hence, more cops armed with the power of social media would automatically translate into better traffic management, he said.
Stating that traffic policemen are the ambassadors of the UP police, the DGP said, “The UP government is working on several things including an integrated traffic management plan, setting up of modern control rooms, dial 100 to ensure that police arrives instantly at accident sites.”
Agarwal plans to approach the schools soon to help them evolve a better traffic management system during peak hours.
“It would be a joint effort between the schools and local traffic cops. We will facilitate the process,” he said. It also involves helping students take a pledge that they would adhere to a 11-point plan, which is aimed at making the riders stakeholders in the idea.