SPC promotes safe driving habits

645 schools in State have SPC units

With a strength of 1,300, the Student Police Cadets (SPC) continue to be a reassuring presence on city roads to improve the traffic culture and promote healthy driving habits among people that can gradually reduce the number of preventable accidents.

In Kozhikode city, there are 27 schools with full-fledged SPC units and they take part in road safety campaigns in their own areas.

Since the launch of the project in 2010 on the basis of a blueprint prepared by the then City Police Chief P. Vijayan, the cadets have been active in undertaking innovative awareness campaigns using Pappu Zebra, the official road safety mascot of Kerala Police.

After the nationwide roll out of the scheme by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh last year, the activities of SPC have got better reach and recognition in their road safety mission. In Kerala, there are now 645 schools and over 52,000 students part of the network. Shubha Yatra,one of such major students’ campaigns against rash driving and violation of traffic rules, still continues to lead the show.

Helmetless riders

In Kozhikode, the students enter city roads and meet the maximum number of motorists responsible for violation of safety rules. Helmetless riders are those frequently caught for their negligence. As cadets have no penalising powers, they make the offenders aware of their mistakes and distribute specially prepared leaflets for their awareness.

N. Satheesh Kumar, Assistant Nodal Officer of the project in Kozhikode city, says the presence of the SPC in traffic awareness programmes has helped the police a lot to effectively communicate the importance of good traffic culture and healthy driving habits to people.

“The motorists too have been found responding very positively to the safety instructions from these students and cooperating with their suggestions with a receptive attitude,” he adds.

Noticing the changes they brought in, the police have also started allocating a special fund every year for the SPC-led road safety awareness campaigns. Other than the district-level action plans, the individual units in various schools too come up with their own regional awareness rallies, door-to-door campaigns and mass contact programmes to sensitise the people.

More campaigns needed

SPC project coordinators say the 154 road accident deaths in the city last year shows that there is a need for more aggressive field-level campaigns.

Of the victims, more than 50 were two-wheeler riders between the 18-30 age group.

More than 30 pedestrians and 15 pillion riders lost their life in various accidents in the city during the term, they point out.

Circle Inspector T.P. Sreejith says, “ In 2017, the total number of accident deaths in the city was 184. The considerable decrease in the subsequent year is definitely a noticeable change.”

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:09:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/spc-promotes-safe-driving-habits/article26485835.ece

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