Fifteen students – all 18 years old. Six of them with licenses – four with learner’s permits, one licensed 3 months ago and another 15 days ago. These are some of the very youngest road users who are licensed to drive or ride a vehicle. Yesterday, they spent part of their college semester break with us talking road safety and being the Positive Strokes Youth Police!
Even though the urge to catch atleast a few traffic rule violators was overpowering, these students focussed on positive behaviors and recorded 38 instances of good road behavior.
We started the workshop with a conversation on what constituted a real emergency, how it was important to practice safe and defensive driving since it was not always our fault that puts us in road accidents.
Encouraged by Tushar Kapila, a software professional with an interest in finding ways to mitigate the traffic problem starting with himself and Leela Immadisetty, Associate Professor at BGS School of Architecture & Planning, the students came up with ideas to use digital signage around the city to display accident videos because people tend to drive a little safer when they’ve just witnessed an accident. Another thought was to use handheld devices at road side eateries that cater to auto and cab drivers to strike up a conversation and spread awareness.
The group met with PSI Mr. Diwakar at the Traffic Management Centre and shared their ideas to create some keyboard shortcuts to make capturing pictures easier. They also learnt from him how many traffic junctions are covered by camera and other details about the Traffic Management Centre.
A little more than children and a little less that adults, these bright eyed youngsters went back to their vacations leaving us hopeful that they remember some of the things they noticed during this workshop. Using indicators, wearing seatbelts and helmets, waiting as pedestrians for their turn to cross roads, are simple, easy behaviors to follow and that road safety must begin with them.