Creating road safety awareness and training various target groups as part of a World Bank-aided Safe Corridor Demonstration Project has been entrusted to the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac). The project is being implemented on the 80-km stretch between Vettu Road Junction near Kazhakuttam on NH 66 and Adoor on M.C. Road.
Being executed as part of the ongoing Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) II, the ₹31-lakh programme is to be kicked off at Kottarakara. The police, Motor Vehicles Department, and the Public Works Department are the major stakeholders in the initiative to reduce fatalities and injuries owing to road traffic crashes.
The KSTP has appointed Natpac as consultant for one year for the implementation of the education and awareness programme, Natpac Director in-charge Shaheem. The main objective is to educate the local community, school, youth, and drivers in road safety and basics of first aid and life support.
Community road safety working group training programme for the public as volunteers; children and road safety programme for schoolchildren; youth leadership and road safety programme for college students; road safety training for drivers; and outdoor campaign are the key components of the training.
A grass-roots level road safety working group of minimum 100 volunteers is to be formed to motivate and engage local communities in various road safety programmes and post-crash interventions. Road safety education will be provided to school teachers and students and NSS, NCC volunteers.
The ultimate goal will be to empower the local communities to be responsible for ensuring their own safety and the safety of other road users, Mr. Shaheem said. The corridor passes through major settlements of Kazhakuttam, Pothencode, Thaikode, Venjaramoodu, Enathu, Kilimanoor, Chadayamangalam, Kottarakara, and Adoor covering one Corporation, two municipalities, and 14 grama panchayats.
Already, Training of Trainers (TOT) and enforcement training for the police officers and officers from the MVD have been provided through Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), UK. As per a study conducted by Natpac, 1,522 crashes had been reported along the project road between 2015 and 2017. Of these, 235 crashes were fatal and 1,180, grievous in nature. The road has a crash density of around 6.4 crashes/km per year.