On July 9th, news about a traffic cop who took it upon himself to fill potholes on the road to make commuting safer, went viral. The cop was noticed, his work was recognized by tens of thousands of people on social media and the chief of traffic police honored him. The next day, another traffic policeman was patching up a pothole on Outer Ring Road near the KR Puram Railway Station in Bangalore at about 10:30 am, making driving a little easier for many. This is the power of positive reinforcement!
A different news post on the Bangalore Traffic Police’s Facebook page made waves a week prior. A group of good road users have been picked out to receive Positive Strokes for being role models on the road. This news has been liked by over a thousand people and has been shared over one hundred and fifty times. The Positive Strokes Movement is gaining momentum. Positive Strokes is a proactive, community-oriented behavior change intervention that aims to alter predominant road behavior to be rule abiding and safe. Positive Strokes volunteers find good drivers and reward them for being role models. The benefits of this are three fold:
- Volunteers develop a sense of ownership, responsibility and awareness of the situations we encounter on the roads.
- Those who are rewarded are inspired and motivated to greater good behavior when their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated
- When a majority of road users behave responsibly we all benefit collectively
For Positive Strokes to have the impact that it is capable of, it must reach, be understood and be adopted by a major portion of the fifty-five lakh vehicle owners and the one crore road users in Bangalore. How can we achieve such a wide reach? You can help! Whether you are an individual, an organization or an institution, you can organize a Positive Strokes event (TMC event* or a Junction event**) for your community – in your neighborhood, at work or at school or college. Be a part of this movement and have fun while you’re at it! Become a Positive Strokes champion! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a Positive Strokes event or to take part in the next event.
*TMC Event A group of about 20 volunteers are invited to spend a few hours in Bengaluru’s high tech Traffic Management Centre. Volunteers, in groups of 3-4, will be allowed to use the TMC applications that are used to monitor traffic throughout the city. Volunteers may choose any junction in the city to watch and identify good road behaviors. Vehicles exhibiting good behavior will be photographed and their registration numbers recorded. These vehicles will undergo scrutiny by the Bengaluru Traffic Police to make sure that they have had no recorded violations for a predetermined period of time. The Bengaluru Traffic Police will send such vehicle owners, a commendation letter. The Positive Strokes team will organize an orientation and arrange the activity at the TMC.
**Junction Event At a traffic junction of your choice, some volunteers (minimum 20) spend about 3 hours watching for good behavior by road users. The volunteer will hand out rewards to drivers, pedestrians and other road users exhibiting good road behavior. While at the junction, volunteers also observe the junction for infrastructure issues that affect road use behavior and make a note of these issues. Any suggestions for changes that can help ease the traffic condition at the junction are captured in a written audit document. The audit inputs will be collated. The best ideas and suggestions will be presented to the authorities including and not limited to the Bengaluru Traffic Police. The Positive Strokes team will help organize & support the junction event and junction audit and help to identify and reach the appropriate audience for the audit results.