Cartoons for a cause: hoardings to educate public on traffic rule violations


The Motor Vehicles Department in Kerala has come out with a series of hoardings to educate the public on traffic rule violations

The road that leads to the airport has acquired a set of new hoardings. Unlike the usual jewellery, clothing and property ads one is accustomed to seeing on the stretch, these are giant cartoon strips.

A move by the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD), the hoardings are a way to educate the public on violations and penalties.

Reaching out

As part of the first phase of the campaign, spearheaded by the Deputy Transport Commissioner, Ernakulam, M P Ajithkumar, 12 hoardings have been put up on the CIAL Road, starting from Athani. Each of them depicts the most commonly committed traffic violations in the city. The officials decided to use cartoon as a medium as they felt it would reach out to more people. “Cartoons communicate better. They appeal to all age groups,” says Najeeb K M, Assistant Motor Vehicles Inspector, who is part of the campaign. “The primary step is to get people to see the hoardings,” he says.

Cartoons for a cause: hoardings to educate public on traffic rule violations

The 6 ft / 9 ft hoardings have been made in fabric and are placed strategically along the road. They contain cartoons with Malayalam text, but the department is working on having hoardings in English as well. An MVD official is a character that appears in all the hoardings, which display offences such as not wearing a seat belt, helmet, riding triple on a two-wheeler, using the mobile phone while driving, drunken driving and using a polluting vehicle.

telling number
  • The number of road accidents in Kerala up to September 2019, is 30,784 (according to statistics from the Kerala Police published on the website of the MVD).

“A number of violations occur because people don’t know the law. However, ignorance is not an excuse. These hoardings aim to inform people about the rules,” Najeeb says.

Even motorists who are aware of rules are sometimes negligent. “Displaying the fine corresponding to each offence could lead to more responsible behaviour on the road,” he says.

people-friendly move
  • A handful of police stations in Kochi has been declared child-friendly. Cartoon characters have been painted on the walls of the Central, Kadavanthra and Ernakulam North Police stations.
  • The campaign to create a friendly ambience in police stations started in 2018. Steps would be taken to make the police stations more people-friendly, says K Lalji, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ernakulam.

Artist and caricaturist Ibrahim Badusha, who has done the cartoons, is happy to be associated with the cause. “The officials told me the concept and we came up with a series of cartoons that captured the ideas we wanted to convey. Cartoons are not just meant for entertainment, they can be a powerful tool to create awareness for a cause such as this,” he says. Badusha, who prefers to be known as the “cartoon man”, says his work has generated interest on social media, with appreciation trickling in.

Cartoons for a cause: hoardings to educate public on traffic rule violations

In later phases of the campaign, the MVD is planning to organise exhibitions and displays in public places such as malls, railway stations and bus depots. The team has made about 50 slides, showing common violations. Editing and designing was done by Jinu, a staff of Keltron. “Change may not happen overnight, but as people see these messages frequently, they would get embedded in their memory.” The department is planning to conduct such campaigns across the State. The number of road accidents are on the rise and awareness is one of the only solutions, says Najeeb. “Not every traffic violation ends in an accident, but every accident is the result of some violation.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 3:58:54 AM |

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