A group of attractively dressed men and children stand at the entrance of Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand with placards.
At times, they perform a small skit attracting passers-by. When people show interest, these artistes hand out material on road safety and educate them on the need to adhere to traffic rules. The Madurai city police, in association with the Regional Transport Department, embarked on a mission of engaging folk artistes to convey the message to the people as to why it was imperative to follow road safety norms and comply with traffic regulations.
“The response has been encouraging. Skits are organised at places where there is public congregation. People stop to have a look at these colourfully dressed artistes,” says K. Kalyan Kumar, Regional Transport Officer (North).
Besides laying emphasis on enforcement and engineering, the police are trying to reach out to as many people as possible through an intensified education programme on road safety. “I have always ensured my safety and that of the others on road,” said Sundar, an autorickshaw driver in the bus stand who took an oath to follow traffic rules, along with his colleagues. More such programmes must be held to create awareness among people, he added.
The public went around the exhibition set up by the RTO on road safety. Photographs and banners bearing slogans such as “speed thrills but kills” and “Do not drink and drive” were on display.
The programme was conducted on Sunday as part of the Road Safety Week being held across the country. The events mark the silver jubilee year of road safety programmes observed from January 11 to 20.
RTO authorities distributed handbills containing the 16 points on road safety to the public. N. Ravichandran, Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement), was among those who were present.