Stressing the importance of driving safely and following traffic rules, the state transport department has initiated a road safety programme, from January 1 to 15 across the state and has planned several informative sessions aimed at increasing awareness about rules, regulations and the importance of driving safely. The fortnight-long programme has been organised by the Regional Transport Offices, the transport department, state police and the Western India Automobile Association. It includes enforcement drives, sessions about road safety as well as health camps.
“Road safety is an important but neglected issue. To bring it into the mainstream, we will organise education schemes. College and school students will be educated about road signs, signals and basic road safety rules, through short films,” said Vikas Pandkar, regional transport officer, Wadala RTO.
Apart from raising awareness, RTOs will also conduct rigorous drives and carry out stringent checks. “Our focus areas for the programme will be rash driving, drink driving, over speeding, use of helmets and safety belts. The aim of the programme is to inculcate safe driving habits. So, along with carrying out routine checks like papers, insurance and the like, we will also insist that safe driving norms are abided by,” said Pandkar.
For drivers of public transport, the department will also organise a free medical camp and eye check-up as part of the programme. “Drivers mostly neglect their health. Eye sight, hearing and other minor health issues are of crucial importance to road safety, but are ignored. Therefore, for truck, auto rickshaw and cab drivers, we will hold medical camps. If we can find a sponsor, we will also give them free spectacles, as we did last year,” Pandkar said.