Road Safety Council has decided to crack down on advertisement boards and hoardings along the roads by bringing about a censorship for erecting them.

The move comes after hoardings were found to be distracting drivers’ attention, leading to accidents, district collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed told a meeting of the Road Safety Council held recently.

Local bodies have been told that the consent of the Road Safety Council should be sought before permitting advertisement boards and hoardings along roads. Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer B.J. Antony told The Hindu that such a rule was already in place but wasn’t followed. Besides, the Road Safety Council also didn’t meet frequently.

The council had received complaints on advertisements being placed even on medians on National Highways by cutting down trees. The complaints were found to be true and the decision to make prior clearance of the council mandatory for erecting advertisement boards was recommended by both the police and the Motor Vehicles Department.

The advertisement boards placed on the median of the National Highway and along the roads will now be removed. In extreme cases, the violators would be prosecuted, Mr. Antony said.

Ban on putting up advertisements in bus shelters is also on the anvil.

The recommendations of a traffic audit conducted on Seaport-Airport Road, which is vulnerable to accidents, were also discussed. Mr. Antony said the recommendations would be implemented within ten days after discussing with stakeholders.

For pedestrians, the Road Safety Council had decided to install blinkers near Zebra crossings. The decision is based on the fact that about 60 per cent of the deaths between January and April were along such crossings, and the victims were mostly senior citizens. Pedestrian crossings will be marked on the stretch between Muttom and Aroor of the National Highway. The council also conceded to the demand of the traffic police to erect boundary stones on the Aluva-Muttom stretch of the national highway.

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