Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign has reduced the number of accidents in Hooghly, Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas by 50 per cent within just three months.
In Kolkata, the campaign has helped to bring down the number of accidents by seven per cent.
Banerjee had introduced the state-wide campaign on July 8 as a means to tackle the menace of road accidents.
India tops the list of countries with the highest number of fatal road accidents per year and some states were identified which are most prone to road accidents.
Bengal DGP Surajit Kar Purkayastha said that the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign helped a lot in reducing the number of road accidents and has become very effective all over the state. The number of road accidents went down by 50 per cent within three months in Hooghly, Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas, he said.
Later, Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Kolkata Police, said that the number of accidents in the city has gone down by seven per cent.
Kumar also said that number of accidents usually goes up between October and December.
But the police are taking necessary steps to avoid the increase in accidents this time, he added.
An assessment by the police had revealed that almost all the accidents were due to reckless and rash driving. Despite being aware of the safety norms that are to be followed while driving, a section of drivers hardly bother following them.
The police had started taking stringent measures by booking errant drivers to check reckless driving. But it did not help much in bringing down the rate of accidents.
As a result, they had to take initiatives to spread mass awareness on road safety measures that are to be followed while driving vehicles.
Following the Chief Minister’s direction, top brass of both the state police and Kolkata Police had started chalking plans to initiate the mass awareness plan.
As a part of the mass education and awareness creation programme, the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign was born. Banerjee herself coined the slogan to make people aware about the ill-effects of rash and reckless driving.
The police ensured that refuelling stations in the state refrain from selling fuel to two-wheelers if their riders are found riding without helmets. Posters and banners with “No Helmet No Petrol” can be found in every refilling station in the state.
Police and traffic sergeants have also been directed to keep a watch on petrol refilling stations to ensure that fuel is not given to anyone coming in without a helmet.
Posters have been put on display at important thoroughfares and highways to make people aware of the unnecessary risks of reckless driving.