Kozhikode’s traffic police is on a mission to spread awareness on the consequences of rash driving – one marking at a time.
The recent spike in accidents in the city has prompted cops to mark the spots where lives were lost, in a bid to push people into driving more carefully.
The ongoing project aims to cover all the road accident deaths the city witnessed in 2017, by marking the spots with a yellow square and a red blotch.
“In 2017, close to 107 fatal bike accidents were recorded in Kozhikode city. Out of these, 80 of them were bike riders and 27 were riding pillion. Apart from this, 53 pedestrians also lost their lives due to the recklessness of drivers. We (the traffic police) conceived an idea to mark those places where a death occurred, just to remind motorists how easily misfortune could befall those being reckless on the roads,” said Sreejith TP, city traffic inspector, Kozhikode.
The project was started a week ago and the police aim to cover all 107 spots in the coming weeks.
“Some of the areas marked are Thondayad Bypass road, Feroke Chungam road in the southern area of the city and Chettikulam in north Kozhikode. We want this to be a sombre reminder of the consequences of being reckless,” he added.
Stating that every action on the road has stipulated rules and norms, he said, “People drive cars and bikes like they are operating just another machine, it is mechanical. They don’t practice passive driving or sensitive driving or even obey the road rules.”
When asked how effective this awareness campaign would be, he said, “I’m not sure people are going to change just with this drive. But we have to start somewhere. We are on the verge of heralding a new driving culture. Now, it is a chaotic phase and it will be for the next four or five generations, until a new and improved driving culture sets in.”
The traffic police also hope that other cities in Kerala will soon follow suit and conduct awareness campaigns about safe driving.
“In Kerala alone, around 4000 lives are lost every year to road accidents. We hope that at least when they notice these marks, people will remember to drive safely,” Sreejith concluded.