With the increasing numbers of vehicles on the roads, the safety of individuals has become one of the major concerns lately. As per the statistics from National Crime Records Bureau, the number of accidental deaths in the year 2015 has been recorded as high as 4,13,457. And surprisingly a majority of accidental deaths are among the age-group of 18-45 years. Apart from the vehicle drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are also becoming victims of road accidents, which figures are increasing rampantly over years. As a social responsibility to make people aware about road safety and personal safety, 22 Bikes (Bhubaneswar) under the banner of Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC) has conducted a 2-Days Awareness Drive on “Road Safety – Your Own Responsibility” in Bhubaneswar on 8th and 9th of May-2017.
As a part of various initiatives taken up by 22 Bikes for celebrating its 2nd Anniversary, volunteers from the cycling fraternity of BCAC came on the roads at major traffic junctions of Kalinga Hospital Square (No Tolerance Zone – as declared by Commissionerate Traffic) and Rupali Square (another major junction on Jan Path). We distributed Road Safety Bookmarks with 10 vital safety messages and a message from renowned MP, Sj. Siddhant Mohapatra (also a cyclist and bike lover).
Volunteers of BCAC and 22Bikes distributed Road Safety Bookmarks especially to bikers and also suggested for driving with helmets and seat belts (for cars). Some curious riders’ questions were also answered during this drive making them aware about their responsibility and their own safety on the roads.
During the drive, we could see people willingly follow traffic rules and wore helmets upon our request. There were also a few youngsters who didn’t care about our request. It was also seen that some fellow bikers asked those careless riders to wear helmets and they responded after public intervention.
“Such types of initiatives are good and should be conducted regularly. Such drives should be conducted at college junctions where there are significantly more young riders, who think riding without a helmet is a style statement” – a rider, who was with her daughter with a pillion helmet commented to Biswasima Mohanty, one of the volunteers in this drive.
Some people mistook the volunteers as traffic cops and tried to escape the scene. Some other riders were seen wearing helmets when approached by our volunteers, which was a positive sign. The traffic cops posted on duty also supported the volunteers wholeheartedly during this drive.
“It’s not always about cycling for us. As a part of our social responsibility, we used to conduct such types of activities on regular basis. This Road Safety Drive was the first by BCAC and 22 Bikes and we plan to integrate more such activities in future. We are also planning to act as Volunteer Traffic Controllers in association with the Traffic Cops of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack.” – commented Ajay Nanda, the owner of 22 Bikes and one of the proactive members of BCAC.
“On the occasion of the 2nd Anniversary of 22 Bikes Bhubaneswar, it’s a privilege to announce that we are opening a new Concept Bicycle Showroom at Khan Nagar, Cuttack. This will help us to cater to a wider mass of the Twin-city while spreading awareness about cycling culture. We are also planning a Blood Donation Camp on 10th of May and inaugurating a ‘Jal Chhatra’ at 22 Bikes Bhubaneswar.” – added Ajay Nanda.
Observing the positive acceptance of people on the roads, it feels that such Road Safety Drives can cause some impact to remind people about their own safety and safety of their fellow riders. With a little awareness among the people, it won’t be unfair to say that a greater number of traffic related accidents on roads can be controlled and avoided.
Safety is the prime concern on the road. As well said, ‘your safety is your own responsibility’ while following all traffic rules of the road.
Biswasima Mohanty, Manas Ranjan, Ajay Parida, Santosh Srinivas, Dr. Nihar Satpathy, Manas Kumar, Kalyan Dash, Santosh Rout and Ajay Nanda volunteered in this drive.