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Need for Traffic Volunteers

Let's resolve to not only follow traffic rules diligently but also become proactive traffic volunteers who don't shy away from helping where possible

Who am I? I am a responsible and public spirited Indian citizen, and I am concerned about the lack of road sense among most of us and the resultant chaotic conditions. That the traffic police force in the entire Chandigarh and Tricity has proved woefully inadequate in reining in the habitual and determined violators, is not lost on us. So, can we as citizens do something about it, with some help from the authorities? Of course, we can, provided we shed our inhibitions and hesitancy and resolve this New Year that we will contribute our bit.

Need for Traffic Volunteers, Lifeinchd
Photo By: Raman Bhardwaj

So far I have been making my little contribution in instilling road sense among road users wherever convenient, and possible, as a self motivated traffic volunteer. My efforts have remained confined to ensuring that motorists stop at traffic lights and behind the zebra crossing when I am walking to and from some place, making people realise that it is in their own interests to park their vehicles properly in designated slots like in market places, requesting people to go back when they are trying to take a short cut by moving against the flow of traffic and stepping down to help liquidate small traffic jams.

But with traffic on Tricity roads increasing massively, leading to frequent, almost daily traffic snarls, and the limited traffic police force being overstretched, there is an urgent need for evolving an offbeat ‘traffic volunteers program’ which unleashes the power of scores, if not hundreds of traffic volunteers on the Tricity roads. These volunteers can go about doing their job while on the move without upsetting their daily schedules and also utilise their free time to do some traffic management near or around their own homes.

During my interactions on the issue with friends and others from time to time I have felt good to know that many people were disturbed over general lack of traffic sense and discipline and would love to contribute their bit without making a fuss over the issue, and without adversely affecting their daily work schedules. They may not want to get bogged down in an official system, so to say, but selflessly go about their work as per their own calling, for their own satisfaction at having done some constructive work for the overall good of society.

While one acknowledges that the Chandigarh Traffic Police Wing must be having many traffic marshals and volunteers working with it, and they must be doing good work, but most often one sees them on some official occasions like observance of traffic week etc. The need is for scores of ‘trained and self motivated volunteers’ with some kind of official recognition and authority to be unleashed on the roads, constantly keeping a watchful eye on the moving traffic, and intervening, wherever possible, with the authority of the state and seeking quick assistance from dedicated backup teams of traffic police personnel.

Such a volunteer force can be raised by a concerted effort through social media with the backing of the state with a name like ‘Volunteers in Action (VIA)’ or so. Only volunteers with a deep commitment to the cause and ready to work hands on selflessly are shortlisted, trained, given an official sanction like an ID card and a prominent arm band and then their force unleashed on the roads. This would be volunteerism in the true sense of the word.

The Volunteers can help in checking:

  • Overspeeding/ rash driving, including roadways drivers.
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  • Helmetless driving, unnecessary honking, polluting vehicles, wrong specification number plates, horns, noise levels like in modified Bullet motorcycles, etc.
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  • Jumping red light.
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  • Driving within city limits on high beam / with unauthorised lighting.
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  • Wrong use of dedicated cycle lane / wrong-side driving.
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  • Using mobile while driving.
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  • Wrong parking, etc.
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They can also educate:

  • People on lane driving, profusely using indicator lights, and keeping essential accessories like side view mirrors, lights etc in proper working condition.
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  • Talk about road sense to auto rickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers, rehriwalas, cyclists and pedestrians, especially swerving of vehicles, stopping / parking at traffic stress points, wrong entry / wrong side driving, use of zebra crossing, how to walk near roundabouts, etc.
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