The TN State transport department proposes to adopt publicity methods used by the film industry in the past, to create awareness on road safety.

Don’t be surprised to see a horse-drawn carriage or a bullock cart bearing a bioscope doing the rounds of the city.

The State transport department proposes to adopt publicity methods used by the film industry in the past, to create awareness on road safety.

The concept was suggested by V. Madhavan, regional transport officer (RTO) of Kundrathur, after the transport department asked RTOs to develop strategies to create road safety awareness.

It will initially be implemented in the interior parts of Kundrathur, post elections. Based on its success, the drive will be expanded to other parts of the city and suburbs. According to the transport department website, there are more than 31 lakh two-wheelers and over six lakh cars in the city, as of 2013.

“Road safety awareness is poor in the suburbs and villages. Traffic norms are flouted mostly by two-wheeler riders. More than three people travel on a bike and many of them do not even carry a valid licence,” said Mr. Madhavan.

That is why he felt using ‘jatkas’ (horse-drawn carriages), bullock carts and bioscope would create the desired effect.

“We have vans that go around the city with posters. But people will stop and take notice if it is a horse-drawn vehicle and pamphlets are thrown out of it. This was the method used for popularising movies some decades ago,” said the officer.

There are also plans to use bioscope (a slideshow operated manually with a hand crank) to spread the message. “Children will be curious when they see such old machines and the images or messages shown through them will get imprinted in their minds,” said Mr. Madhavan.

The ‘jatkas’ and bioscope will be stationed near schools and temples in suburban areas.

A senior transport department official said road safety is a serious concern. “Our main targets are schoolchildren. We have to come up with out-of-the-box ideas to attract their attention,” said the official.

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