Vizag among cities chosen by WHO for implementing road safety project

Adopting a proactive approach and ‘road policing’ rather than being content with just ‘enforcement’ will go a long way in improving safety on the roads, said Road Policing Specialist Des Myers of Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP).

Addressing the traffic police officials at a two-day workshop on ‘Training for the trainers’, which commenced here on Monday, Mr. Myers said apart from enforcement of laws, education of road users was very important as the focus should be on saving lives. Safety issues like bad condition of roads could be taken up with the local bodies and pursued till their logical end.

He said the RS-10 project on road safety was focussing on 10 countries, including India. Launched in 2011, the project was taken up in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, GRSP and Bloomberg Philanthropy. In India, it was taken up in Jalandhar (Punjab), Hyderabad.

The focus would be on ‘drunken driving’, wearing helmets and seat belts. He hinted at the possibility of coming to the city next month to hold discussions with the City Police on capacity building for the traffic police.

Mr. Myers said the workshop was designed to enhance the professional skills of the traffic police to reduce accidents. It would also provide a platform for exchange of experiences among the participants to design future capacity building programmes.

Police Commissioner B. Shivadhar Reddy briefed about the steps being taken by the City Police for prevention of accidents. He said the traffic police officers were being exposed to various awareness programmes. The ‘Arrive – Alive’ campaign has succeeded in bringing about a noticeable change in the mindset of motorists on wearing of seat belts, helmets, and against drunken driving.

GRSP Focal Point Srinivas said the implementation of the RS -10 project had seen a decline in ‘drunken driving’ cases in Hyderabad. This was the result of awareness created among the public.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) P. Viswa Prasad thanked the WHO for choosing Visakhapatnam as one of the cities for implementation of the road safety project.

Additional DCP (T) V. Suresh Babu spoke about the measures taken by the City Traffic Police like provision of 600 cautionary sign boards, 175 speed breakers, formation of central dividers with pre-cast concrete blocks, conduct of awareness classes and enforcement. This has led to a considerable decline in the number of road accident deaths and injuries during 2012 compared to the previous year.

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