When the colours change, couplets fill the air

Public address systems at traffic lights in Madurai play select Tirukkural couplets and tips on road safety; the initiative is aimed at minimising accidents

January 01, 2024 01:47 pm | Updated 08:28 pm IST - Madurai

Madurai City Traffic Police sought the help of AIR to prepare the audio clip that plays the couplets along with their explanation and some useful road safety tips  

Madurai City Traffic Police sought the help of AIR to prepare the audio clip that plays the couplets along with their explanation and some useful road safety tips   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

In the recent times, road users and pedestrians waiting at traffic lights in Madurai are being treated to couplets from Tirukkural.

Public address systems at the automatic traffic signals play select Tirukkural couplets, interspersed with tips on road safety.

A couple of months ago, the traffic police introduced modern traffic lights with PA systems in the city. Initially popular instrumental songs from Tamil cinema, meant to calm the minds of vehicle users waiting at the signals, were played. “However, Madurai being known as the cradle of Tamil language, Commissioner of Police J. Loganathan suggested we play couplets from Tirukkural,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police-Traffic D. Kumar.

The Madurai City Traffic Police sought the help of All India Radio to prepare the audio clips that play the couplets along with their explanation and some useful road safety tips.

“The Commissioner selected a few popular couplets that speak about love and affection, family relationships, gratitude and some common virtues,” Mr. Kumar said. This playing of Tirukkural couplets at traffic signals is the first such attempt in the State and it has been received well, he said.

As motorists wait at the signal, the public address system gives them tips such as importance of wearing helmets and seatbelts, and not jumping red lights; the danger of performing bike stunts and footboard travel; the dangers of using mobile phone while driving/walking on the road, and drunk driving. The P.A. system also reminds vehicle users to renew their vehicle insurance policies and carry all necessary documents while driving or riding.

“This novel idea is aimed at creating an accident-free Madurai,” Mr. Kumar said.

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