Prioritizing road safety, Mamata Banerjee led TMC government launched the ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign on July 8, 2016, with the aim to spread awareness on the importance of safe driving and also to reduce road accidents. On the fourth anniversary of the initiative, Kolkata Police proudly shared the paradigm shift achieved in road safety including greater knowledge about safety and traffic rules and comprehensive awareness on the importance of safe driving in today’s world.
Speaking on the occasion, Joint CP Traffic, Kolkata Police, Santosh Pandey IPS said “Before 2016 we used to have more than 400 road accidents annually as awareness about road safety was low. Since the launch of ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign, there has been a marked drop in road mishaps and in 2019 the total number of recorded cases was 257. The strict enforcement of the campaign has successfully created mass awareness and instilled discipline among drivers who now know that violation of rules will be prosecuted. Our automated number plate detection cameras, red light violation detection cameras help us monitor every vehicle and rider closely. We are also planning to install more CCTV cameras to oversee things minutely. Though Covid crisis has affected physical monitoring, digitally we are continuing our work efficiently”.
As a part of the campaign, Kolkata Police holds a number of awareness programmes for students, schools, drivers and riders making them aware about the protocols of driving and safe commuting. Elaborating on the topic Joint CP Traffic said, “The campaign enabled us to rope in skilled engineers who can analyze conditions that lead to accidents and other emergency situations. We have efficient teams to assist us including those in charge of dedicated Karmas or ambulances that can swiftly arrive at a spot in case of emergency. Our immediate response system is highly active and is becoming better day by day. We are proud to proclaim that our roads are now safer than what they used to be”.
ADG IGP Traffic west Bengal, Vivek Sahay says it is one of the most successful projects introduced till date, one that gathered momentum in terms of implementation and achieved commendable goals by greatly improving the road safety graph of our city. “The Safe Drive Save Life campaign has not only favored the stakeholders and made the life of commuters better, it has also received huge applause and recognition from the Supreme Court committee that monitored the success rate closely. The campaign has created other positive impacts like regular meetings held between road safety committees and PWD and better NHI guidelines regarding road safety. Enforcement of road safety measures in the field of education, emergency response, and engineering has also been achieved and taxi driver committees, rickshaw pullers, two/three/four wheelers, and pool car drivers have been effectively convinced to join hands in making Kolkata roads safer”.
The ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign while being appreciated by stakeholders has also earned considerable praise from the general public. “We no longer need to remind people to wear helmets or maintain speed limits. People have been empowered to follow rules sincerely which has made the campaign such a roaring success for the past four years. We have traversed a long path in the right direction and still have way to go!” ADG Traffic, Sahay enunciates.