IAS Officer’s Unique Step to Reduce Accidents: Eye Check-up for Bus Drivers, Bikers Watch Movie In Place of Challan
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 25 Jul 2023, 9:19 am IST
- 4 minutes read
- Bikaner Collector starts unique initiative for reducing road accidents
- Eye check-up camps are organized for drivers of big vehicles
- Instead of challan, riders without helmet are made to watch movie
There are number of driving rules to avoid road accidents. Still, accidents are increasing day by day and raising a big concern for drivers, be it four wheelers or two wheelers. In Rajasthan’s Bikaner district, 2011 batch IAS officer Bhagwati Prasad Kalal has started a unique initiative, which is gaining in momentum and producing good results as well. In order to reduce accidents on highways and state roads and provide safety measures to drivers, he took an initiative of organising eye check-up camps for drivers free of cost, and instead of issuing challan, he makes them watch a traffic awareness movie.
The good thing is that these innovative steps are producing good results. These initiatives started about four months back and within these months, accidents have been reduced and the number of cases of without helmet or seatbelt driving has also decreased.
Indian Masterminds spoke with District Collector of Bikaner, Mr, Bhagwati Prasad Kalal, to know more about this initiative.
THE EYE CHECKUP
The eye check-up camps are organized at toll plazas and roadways bus stand premises of the district. These camps are for big vehicle drivers like truck and buses ,etc. After check-up, administration is also providing spectacles free of cost, if one has standard number eye problem.
The camps were organized at Salasar Toll Plaza, Lakhasar Toll Naka, Khara Toll Plaza and Roadways Bus Stand premises.
Till now, eye check-up of more than thousand drivers was done in five camps. Out of these, 162 drivers were given spectacles numbers and 110 drivers provided free spectacles. Similarly, 25 patients were advised to undergo cataract surgery and 62 were provided with essential medicines free of cost. In this way, accidents caused due to this vision defect can be curbed.
Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Kalal said, “There are many reasons behind the increasing cases of accidents, from rash driving to not taking safety precautions. Action of fine or challan is being issued regularly, but still lack of awareness is clearly visible. Many times, a 1000 rupees challan is issued for not wearing helmet, but poor people are not able to pay it. And more number of accidents happen on highways. Also, one aspect is that truck and bus drivers have weak eye sight. And because of that, there is a risk of accidents while driving at night. Even a slight margin of error can cause big damage.”
And for those who do not wear helmet or seatbelt, instead of challan, they have to now watch a traffic rule awareness movie at the camp.
Stopping two-wheeler drivers passing without helmets at all the toll points of the district, short films related to the damage caused by not wearing helmets are shown and they are asked to compulsorily wear helmets. For this, LED screens have been installed at each toll plaza, where such films are screened continuously. Round the clock duty has been imposed at these toll points on the basis of shifting of traffic police personnel. “After watching these films, the number of people wearing helmets has increased in the district, data shows. Traffic police personnel have been deployed on a round-the-clock basis at these toll plazas for regular monitoring,” the officer said.
On an average, 50 to 70 people are daily caught without helmet or seatbelt and are made to see this movie where local level incidents and traffic rules are shown.
Studying the accident prone pockets in the district, a report is being prepared on the causes of the accidents, so that action can be taken on missionary mode in this direction. Due to all these innovations and awareness activities, there has been a decrease in the number of casualties in road accidents. From January to June last year, 178 people died in road accidents and 327 people were injured. In the first six months of this year, 166 people died and 261 were injured.
Mr. Kalal said, “With these initiatives, the number has decreased to some extent. It’s been only four months for these majors’ steps, and results are positive. People are wearing helmet and fastening seatbelts, after watching the films. Apart from that, reflectors are being installed on road to avoid light distraction in night, and attention is being paid to the design of the road as well.”
Every year, approximately 1.5 lakh people die on Indian roads, which translate, on an average, into 1130 accidents and 422 deaths every day or 47 accidents and 18 deaths every hour.
END OF THE ARTICLE