Talk about road safety

TIME FOR recapping some road safety lessons. Starting this month, the National Transportation Planning & Research Centre (Natpac) here has planned seven seminars for school children, trainers of motor driving schools and drivers of school buses and vans.

The State-wide seminars are planned in coordination with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Says a Natpac expert, "The programme has special significance for Kerala as it has 100 per cent literacy and the lowest level of traffic discipline.''

Accident frequency and lack of traffic discipline are found to be closely linked. Careless and rash driving, disregard for pedestrians, haphazard parking, overtaking from the left, overloading of school buses and vans, disregard to traffic signals, etc., are symptomatic of the larger malaise of poor traffic discipline, it is pointed out.

Transport planners say the "mobility'' of a city is directly proportional to its ability to serve the travel needs of the masses. People are always going to go for automobiles because of their convenience, which means that the only choice for cities is to expand the road network and charge the market rate for it.

``Though the need for improving the road network cannot be overlooked, traffic education measures need utmost importance. This is the main idea behind the seminars,'' the Natpac expert points out.

Road safety quiz programmes, screening of films on road safety, exhibitions on traffic accidents, technical lectures by experts, etc., are planned as part of the seminars.

By M. Harish Govind

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