Wear Helmet, Stay Safe! That’s The Road Safety Message This Giant Helmet Hopes To Propagate
- In Kota, there is a Accidental Memorial Park that has been established
- Park's aim is to make people aware about road safety rules
- The initiative has been started by Lions Club, Kota North
New Delhi: About 28 two-wheeler riders lost their lives in India daily, in the year 2016, according to the analysis of data shared by states with the transport ministry. Reason – driving without helmets. To tackle this breach of basic road safety norm, Kota in Rajasthan has come up with a unique initiative. A giant black helmet made of cement and concrete, 12-ft width and length is 9-ft has been installed in the memory of those who lost their lives due to road accidents. The black giant helmet structure also serves as a warning to those who don’t adhere to traffic rules, like not wearing helmet on two-wheelers or putting on safety belt in cars.
This road safety initiative has been started by Lions Club, Kota North (a network of volunteers who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world) in collaboration with District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in 2017. Explaining the concept, Varun Rasewat, project chairman, Lions Club, Kota North added,
In India, road safety is the most neglected subject. We as commuters don’t follow appropriate road safety rules. When it comes to road safety, we are careless. And, that’s where problem arises, this initiative has been started to change this dark side.
Talking about the initiative that has been divided into three phases in the city, Mr Varun said,
In our first phase, we were focusing on awareness, we went to different spots wherever we could find the youth like schools, colleges, popular places. There we used to guide them about why they need to be safe on roads and why there is a need to follow proper guidelines. We covered some 25,000 people and 150 places. In the next phase, we established a Road Safety And Accidental Memorial Park in the memory of all those people who have lost their lives on roads. Again, through this we want to educate people, want them to see, what can be the consequences of not adhering to basic and simple road safety rules.
It is here in this park the giant helmet structure has been put. In India, Road Safety And Accidental Memorial Park is one of its kind places that guides you about road safety. Apart from the giant helmet structure that has various safety slogans written on it, the park has a display sign boards and symbols pertaining to traffic rules.
In few days, the park will also have a huge billboard carrying names of road mishap victims of Kota and a road safety awareness control room, where visitors of the park will be educated on various road safety related information like traffic rules, road safety measures they should follow, disadvantages when they don’t follow basic road safety rules and legal provision related to road safety in India.
“Through these unique ways our motive is to gain more attention because road safety lessons need that. We want to generate both awareness and fear among people when they come and visit this park so when next time they step out of the house, they are not as casual as they were before when it comes to road safety,” said Mr Varun.
Talking about the conceptualisation, Mr Varun added,
“When people disobey road safety by not following basic things, they are somehow getting involved in violence. To pass on Gandhi Ji’s ideology on Ahimsa (non-violence) among people, above the road safety control room we will be putting three monkeys on display, where one monkey will be wearing a seat-belt, second one will be riding a bike on high-speed and third will be without a seat-belt and honking horn. Behind these monkeys, there will be literature written guiding people on the advantages and disadvantages of following or not following that particular road safety rule.”
According to the data shared by the Ministry Of Road and Transport, the share of two-wheelers in total road accidents has increased from 28.8 percent in 2015 to 33.8 percent in 2016. Number of two-wheeler accident deaths stands at 52,500 and of this, in 10,135 cases the victims did not wear helmets.
In Rajasthan, total accidents recorded and showed a drop for the year 2016. It has fallen to 23,066 from 24,072 in 2015, or 1,006 fewer than the year before.
In October 2015, the Rajasthan government had issued a notification on making helmet compulsory for rider and pillion rider under Central Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Rajasthan Motor Vehicle Act 1990.
It also had mandated that helmet to be used should be of ISI grade and only Sikhs who wear “Pagri” (turban) are exempted from the mandatory rule.
Thanks to initiatives like this one, Rajasthan is doing its bit towards creating safer roads in India. The road safety warrior Mr Varun who is a builder by profession signs off by saying,
We wish the similar models can be replicated across India, road safety is the need and issue that needs importance via unique ways.