Creating awareness about traffic regulations can help in bringing down the number of accidents, said Allka Shah, member of road safety advisory committee for the Mumbai police. Excerpts from an interview:
What can be done to reduce the number of accidents on Mumbai’s streets?
Constant check on offences such as drink driving has helped in bringing down the number of accidents. But, the traffic and the local police need to ensure that these drives are conducted on a regular basis. We need to be more particular about the enforcement of law.
Do you think we need to take long-term measures for ensuring better road discipline?
I feel long-term goals can be achieved by creating awareness. For instance, a year ago, we had made a presentation before the home ministry suggesting that a chapter on road safety should be included in the school curriculum. Work on that front is in progress. Also, after the recent spate of accidents in the city, we need to conduct a safety audit of city’s roads. A detailed safety audit can help in identifying the accident-prone spots in the city. We can then recommend measures to fix the problems.
What role can the common man play?
We cannot deny that the number of vehicles and the number of accidents are on the rise. The traffic police department, too, is short-staffed. In such a scenario, Mumbaiites need to take up some responsibility. Practising self-discipline and abiding by the traffic rules could help. Apart from steps on an individual level, people should also initiate and participate in community projects to spread awareness. Though several citizens are working in that direction, we need more people to be proactive about road safety.