It was an evening filled with emotion and outpouring of grief over loss of their dear ones in road accidents, as the celebrities chose to impress upon the people, especially the youth, the importance of driving cautiously on roads to ensure that their parents would not have to go through the kind of trauma that they are undergoing.

Actors Kota Srinivasa Rao and P. Babu Mohan, a popular pair in several comic scenes in Telugu films, had the gathering in tears when they recounted their experience of losing their sons in different road accidents, at a programme organised by the city police in Tummalapallivari Kshetrayya Kalakshetram on Saturday.

It was held as part of the ongoing month-long awareness campaign on road safety and traffic rules.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao asked the youth to question the authorities on traffic and road safety violations so that mistakes could be prevented from occurring. “You should question when there is an overload in an auto-rickshaw, when a school management fails to arrange buses for students or when traffic police fail to perform their duties properly,” he said.

Motorbikes to blame

The former MLA, who represented the city in the Assembly, said that in the olden days he used to watch motorbike races only in circuses, but nowadays similar shows were being held on busy roads, “thanks to the powerful motorbikes being provided by the parents.” Mr. Babu Mohan recalled the tragedy of losing his son six years ago. “My son was killed in an attempt to save a kid on the road.

He could have escaped death had he been wearing a helmet at that point of time,” he said. He regretted that parents were taking it as a prestige issue and encouraging their children by providing high-power bikes, which were causing ghastly accidents on roads.

The actors earlier hugged each other and broke down. A large number of students later vied for securing autographs from them. Sudheekshan Foundation president Ch. Vimala said that nearly 80 per cent of road accidents were due to human error, and these could be averted by following a systematic way of driving. Deputy Commissioner of Police M. Ravindranath Babu, ACP (Traffic) A.V. Ramana and others were present.

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