The ever increasing accidents on the road in Kerala with nearly 4000 deaths and around 35,000 injured every year, has become a major cause of concern and there is urgent need to make a comprehensive programme of Traffic Safety and Enforcement. Hence Government of Kerala and Kerala Police have decided to launch the Subhayatra2015 Project, which aims at tackling all the Three E's of Traffic, namely Enforcement, Engineering and Education. The project provides for tackling traffic through a multi faceted, coordinated effort of all sections of the society to make the roads in Kerala, a more safer place to drive.
The programme has the following sub components-
Strict Digital Enforcement of Traffic Rules.
Overspeeding, drunken driving, rash and negligence driving are one of the major reasons for accidents in Kerala and to tackle the same stricter traffic enforcement through digital means will be started in 2015 under this programme.
- More speed check cameras will be established on all the major roads, under the PPP mode.
- Hand held speed radars will be supplied to all Police Stations for speed checking.
- Alcometers will be supplied in all the Police Stations to strictly crack down on drunken driving.
- Payment of fines through Banks will be started throughout the State, which will ensure that the public need not come to the Police station to pay fines.
- Payment of fines through credit/debit cards will also be started in association with SBI, so that payment of fines can be made on the spot through credit/ Debit cards.
- Strict action against drunken driving will be initiated and a policy of Zero tolerance against Drunken Driving will be enforced.
- Stricter enforcement of the helmet rule, both for the driver and the pillion driver will be implemented as per the MV Act.
Virtual Mechanisms for Effective Traffic Management:
- A Portal Exclusively for Traffic: Kerala Police will start a portal exclusively for traffic. It can be like www.keralatrafficpolice.com or having a similar domain extension. The portal may include details each and everything concerned to traffic, like traffic rules and regulations, new traffic schemes, traffic violation and prosecution, traffic clubs for school students, FAQs on traffic, details on emergency services, traffic volunteer registration forms, links to other traffic related sites etc. There will be messages from the Home Minister, State Police Chief etc. and they can motivate people through these messages on upholding traffic rules for the safety of the public. People can even register complaints on traffic related issues through this portal. Complaint forms to register complaints against buses, autorickshaws etc. can be included in the portal, with which people can directly complaint to traffic police on their grievances. There should be facilities to register complaint even using mobile sms, which may get enter to the complaint registering format of the portal. As an informatory portal too, we may give the detailed history of trafficking in India through the portal. This can be a reference portal and at the same time, an informatory one for the public. Auto / Taxi Tariff rates can also be published through the portal and updated time to time. Those who violate the official tariff can be chargeable. People can be urged to send their suggestions to improve traffic on various routes in Kerala.
- Traffic E mail/ Whatsapp page/ Facebook: There can be a regular E mail for Traffic alone for Kerala Police. The Email id can be published all over Kerala for the general public. People can register complaints on traffic related issues through this E mail too. Apart from this the members of the public can also give their complaints and suggestions over whatsapp specially designed apps and also over the Facebook page of Kerala Traffic Police. It will also be used for spreading the message of traffic safety.
- Whatsapp number for sending traffic complaints, pictures and videos: During the era of Smart Phones, people will be well aware of the use of them. It can be used for genuine purposes other than the traditional ways of usage. People should be urged to use Whatsapp for traffic related issues. A dedicated number for Traffic can be used for sending traffic complaints, pictures and videos to higher officers, which will be beneficial enough to track issues at the earliest.
- Traffic Helpline Number: There can be a general traffic helpline number in All Kerala level like 1099, so that people may get familiarized of the number and use the one for all traffic related emergencies. A unique number will help a lot in solving traffic related queries and people may use the number in any of the traffic emergencies.
- Tie up with Radio for passing of traffic congestion info at every hour: Through FM Radios, Traffic messages can be given to a great extent. During intervals, they may give information on road congestion, other traffic issues etc. Since most of the people do have cars with FM Radios inside, it will definitely help a lot. For the purpose, detailed discussions should be there with the Radio teams, so as to implement and execute the system properly.
Educational Mechanisms for Effective Traffic Management:
- Traffic Bulletin: An exclusive regular traffic bulletin will help a lot to get people updated of traffic rules and regulations. The bulletin can be published fortnightly or monthly. There can be print and online editions for the bulletin. The online edition can be updated regularly in the Traffic Portal. Print editions can be generated from each and every police district of Kerala. In the bulletin, we can have details including traffic punishments in a month with the statistical chart, changing traffic guidelines for different areas of the police district, regular updates of traffic instructions, traffic guidelines for children etc.
- Traffic Parks: There can be a high-tech traffic park in each and every district in Kerala so as to entertain and educate the public as well as the students. This will certainly help to bring awareness among the public on traffic and at the same time, people will feel that police is always vigilant and active in traffic related issues. Inside the Park, there can be Vehicles with Traffic Instructions so that children may ride vehicles of their own and get entertained and informed of traffic rules. Different mechanisms can be included inside the traffic park like Touch Screen Kiosk, park ambience Benches and Swing, Slider for Children, Wind Machine to feel like an energy park, Science Exhibition Chamber, Rocket Model Slider for children etc. We can make it to a botanical park too by naming the plants inside the Park. Traffic Sign Boards, Traffic Awareness Poster Display, Traffic Picture Display etc. can also be created inside the park.
- Mobile Digital Traffic Parks (Mobile Traffic Electronic Park): Mobile Digital Traffic Safety Parks have been introduced by the Police Department and these can be set up in all the districts. These can be made after remodeling the old police buses and can be well equipped with all materials connected to Traffic safety and awareness. These will be taken to schools and public places and used for traffic safety propaganda and education. Periodic review of their utilisation by senior officers, will also be done.
- Traffic Clubs in Schools: In each and every school in Kerala, a traffic club can be started. Each club may be guided by a leader and there can be discussions on traffic related issues in weekly basis. It can be an activity oriented platform to teach students on traffic rules and regulations. We can even start traffic quiz competitions, debate competitions etc. among children, as part of traffic clubs. Traffic clubs of the state can be given special assignments, training to control road traffic etc. State level prizes can be instituted among traffic clubs in schools so that students may get involved in the campaign pattern. Reciprocally, it will help the students to get aware of the traffic rules. Even, children may guide their parents and elders who violate the traffic rules. There can be a regular booklet for Traffic Club, giving periodical updates on traffic rules and regulations. Before getting license for driving, each and every student in the state should be well versed of the traffic rules and regulations and also of the punishments occurring out of disobeying the traffic rules. Traffic Clubs can help a lot in this regard. There can be a regular logo and even uniform for traffic club members. Traffic Clubs, when getting more popular, it can be even suggested that traffic can be made as a part of the curriculum for students.
- Traffic Training Institute: A traffic training institute can be a better option to have regular training on traffic related issues. The institute can be in any of the metro cities like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode etc. The institute can be utilized to give training on traffic rules and regulations to the general public, policemen, traffic volunteers, students etc. Students can be given regular training on traffic related issues on periodical basis. This will in turn help the students and the general public to know the rules and regulations and to drive safely.
Executional Mechanisms for Effective Traffic Management:
- Tie up with SBI for payment of traffic fines through debit cards: This may help to collect fines on the spot from the travelers. Collection of Traffic Fines can be increased to a great extent, creating awareness among the public on traffic offences, resorting to this method.
- Bank Payment of Traffic Fines: As per Go (Ms.) No. 214/2011/Home dated 10.10.2011, government have accorded sanction to implement the scheme for the payment of compounding fee for traffic offenses through State Bank of Travancore. This system is now commissioned in Trivandrum as an experiment. This can be extended to all the Districts in Kerala. This will eliminate handling of cash by the police and the resulting allegations and suspicions. It also makes accounting very easy and reduced workload when fully operational with other supportive computerized systems of MV licenses and registration details. We need to extend this to all Banks and Post offices and also for payment via credit cards online.
- E-Challan System : The system of Digital Challan Generation for traffic checking has been initiated and commissioned. This is a technological and cultural Departure from the traditional methodology of traffic checking. Gradually we have to bring to bring the checking procedure into the digital mode and this is a beginning. We need to establish connectivity to the Control room and to a centralized data base to make it effective.
- Badges of Honour for Traffic Safety: For rewarding and motivating excellence in traffic safety initiatives, Kerala Police will institute Badges of Honour for Traffic Safety Endeavours. This will be given annually for the best efforts among police officers during the previous years in reducing or preventing accidents in their jurisdiction.
- Formation of SOFT, Save Our Fellow Traveller: It is the present scenario that people are afraid of helping the traffic accident victims. They fear of becoming witness in front of the police. This tendency should be corrected to save the lives of the people who are on the road. NGOs can help a lot in this regard.It is a general need that, we should have soft corner to all those who are facing accidents or emergencies. It is in this scenario that the formation of SOFT becomes relevant. As from the name abbreviation implies, this nature has to be changed and the policy can be converted to save our fellow traveler. In each and every police station limits, units of SOFT can be formed, with the initiative of the police. Social workers of the premises, SI of the concerned stations etc. can lead the unit in the area. The SOFT members can work voluntarily to be present at the accident scene, save road accident victims, do proper follow up in legal support etc. This will surely create a positive mindset in the general public.
- Rehabilitation of Traffic Accident Victim Families: Police may take initiative to start a state level rehabilitation centre to protect the deserving traffic accident victims. Mostly traffic accidents are creating desolate families. Some of the people may get lost of all their relatives, belongings etc. in traffic accidents. Police may make arrangements to take care of the families of such people, taking support from insurance companies, NGOs etc. This may change the face value of police to a positive nature, as regards public is considered.
General Campaign Activity Mechanisms for Effective Traffic Management:
- Effective Brand Ambassadors for Traffic Campaign:. On traffic rules and the need to follow the rules, there can be a regular campaign through print, visual and online media, all over Kerala. The campaign will become more effective if we can use popular figures as goodwill ambassadors of the whole project. Mammootty and Mohanlal will be the most advisable names as regards traffic campaign is concerned. Different themes can be worked out with them for the campaign. General Campaign advertisements also can be made with other artistes in Kerala too. People will be more aware of the traffic rules and they will abide by the rules to the maximum. Hoardings, Banners, Posters, Cone Boards etc. can be made with the brand leaders of the Malayali folk. In this way, Traffic Campaign will become more effective. Campaign can be made using advertisement films, documentaries etc. using these artistes.
- Traffic Instruction Stickers on Vehicles: It can be made as a strict enforcement that, on each and every vehicles running through the roads in Kerala, there should be general traffic instruction stickers. The stickers may instruct the drivers and the passengers to use seat belt, avoid drunken driving, avoid mobile phone while driving, obey traffic rules etc. For two wheelers, there can be stickers with messages of use helmet while driving, avoid mobile phone while driving etc. The stickers can be made in an attractive design and can be sticked to all vehicles getting registration from the Motor Vehicles Department. Old vehicles can also be strictly enforced the sticker campaign. This can be made possible by fixing the stickers through vehicle workshops while servicing the vehicles, or through policemen, while checking the vehicles on the road. Seeing the sticker instructions regularly may make awareness among the fellow travellers. This may inculcate in their mind, the seriousness of following the traffic rules too.
- Organ Donation Campaign: Traffic Accident Victims are more prone to death. More of the people are facing brain death due to traffic accidents. Campaign on organ donation will be a positive step from the part of the police. Hence, Organ Donation Campaign can also be made a part of the Traffic Awareness Campaign. Relatives of the accident victims may get aware of the positive side of donating organs of the persons who have already faced brain death. This will surely be a positive attitude to enlighten the lives of all the hapless victims due to several situations.
- Campaign on Drunken Driving: Drunken driving is a major reason for traffic accidents in the state. Campaign on drunken driving becomes more relevant in this scenario. In front of all the bars and beverages, it should be made a must to fix boards on drunken driving. People should be forced to obey the rules, in a way. This can be an effective mechanism for the people to be vigilant of the penalty at least.
- Documentary on Road Safety: Apart from Advertisement films of short duration, Documentaries can convey a lot of elements during 20 - 30 Minutes time. A Documentary on Road Safety will be effective to convey the message of basic road safety to the public and the students at large. It can be a narrative fiction story portrayed in 20 -30 Minutes time. Along with fiction and narration, the documentary may include interviews from authorities too, regarding the significance of the issue. It can be a message oriented one, imparting knowledge through art. The documentary can be viewed through schools, residential associations, KSRTC, Railway Station etc.
- Booklets on Traffic Safety: Different sorts of booklets can be created on Road safety and distributed among school children, residential associations etc. Booklets among school children can be used for competitions too among them.
- Posters on Road Safety: Different attractive posters can be made with Traffic Safety instructions and cartoons. These posters can be distributed among schools. Students can buy these posters and keep on wall in their study rooms. These posters may help to imbibe in their minds the need of basic road safety.
- Road Safety Month/ No Horns Day: A month can be dedicated for Road Safety. This span of time can be divided into four segments, ie, each week, a special issue will be considered as the campaign material. Different Themes can be chosen as the different means of campaign in these four weeks. Based on each issue, we can make street plays at different locations, posters, seminars, competitions for children, punishment for public disobeying the law etc. This will certainly help to make a critical mind in the public on the good and bad effects of the safety mechanisms.
- World's Largest Painting By Children: We can make awareness in the minds of the student community by creating a Painting Competition on longer Canvas. Canvas cloth arranged for long distance can be used as the platform for painting. Students from various schools can be invited to complete the painting in two hours time. Best painting can be given prizes too. The total theme of the event will be Traffic and Road Safety. It will surely get media attention too and can be the start of the campaign too. Present Guinness World Record is 3.5 KM long canvas painting. A length of 3.7 KM will be enough to set the new world record.
- Exhibition on Road Safety: Exhibition on Road Safety can be done at different locations of the state. People can be urged to view the exhibition. There can be accident picture display, documentary display etc. during exhibition. Accident pictures by Press Photographers will help a lot to make people aware of the drastic situations of accidents which are happened by mere mistake and misfortune. It will certainly help them to be aware of the driving ever.
- Traffic Awareness Rally: To make people aware of the situations, a traffic awareness rally will also be effective. Participation of Public, Two wheeler drivers with helmet, car drivers with seat belt etc. can be taken care of in the traffic awareness rally. Students with traffic slogans can be placed at the front of the rally. This will seek media attention, at the same time, creating positive awareness ideas in the minds of the public.