As part of the National Road Safety Month, on February 18th 2021, CAG held a webinar on road safety in Tamil Nadu. The highlight of the webinar was the perspective shared by Mr. Pramod Kumar, IPS who heads the State Traffic Planning Wing of the Tamilnadu Police. With the recent strides made by Tamil Nadu in reducing road crash fatality, he was able to throw light on how these have been achieved and how the government is not waiting to rest on its laurels but looking to improve the state’s track record so the state can reach zero deaths. He also shared some key statistics on road crashes in the state.
He highlighted the efforts to ensure seamless planning and coordination among the various government agencies involved and how those efforts have paid off. One such example has been to set up highway patrols (as highways see some of the highest number of crash fatalities) so that response time is reduced considerably. Medical facilities and ensuring that trained personnel are able to provide immediate lifesaving help in ambulances was another key point.
He also touched upon various aspects of the law and the role of each stakeholder – driver, CSOs, parents, children, government agencies, etc. He highlighted that underage driving has become a very regrettably common phenomenon and this is an issue the police is gearing up to crack down on. He pointed out that as per the law, the parents/guardian are held responsible.
During the question and answer session, in response to a question on whether the amended Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 would be implemented in Tamil Nadu, he responded that it is under consideration with the government and is likely to be implemented soon.
A study by CAG to analyse compliance with helmet and seatbelt rules in Chennai city. It was found that since its 2017 study, more two-wheeler riders and car drivers were complying with the law. However, pillion and passenger compliance is non-existent. A perception survey among two-wheeler and car users was also carried out, which found that many of them believe they comply with the law when they actually don't. A majority also agreed that stronger penalties and stricter enforcement of the law would help.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online quiz competitions were conducted for students from classes VI to XII. The aim was to engage with younger citizens raising their awareness of the working of the electricity sector. The topics covered were electricity governance, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. E- certificates were sent to students who took the online quiz through their registered email address.
The first round of competitions were held from June to September 2020. As these were very well received, we extended the online quiz competition to school students of grades 6 to 12 in Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore for the month of October 2020 to December 2020.
The questions for the competition covered:
- Electricity governance
- Energy efficiency
- Renewable energy
A total of around 5,000 students participated in the quiz and the number of participants from each of the 7 ECC districts are given below.
Image 1 - No. of students participated in the online quiz competition
A certificate of participation was issued to all the students that participated. A sample of this is attached below:
Image 2 - Sample certification of participation
From the responses given by the participants, it was found that more than 50% of the questions from each topic were answered correctly (image 3).
Image 3 - Overview of marks scored in each topic
This reflects that the students have some awareness and knowledge on the above mentioned topics. While this is encouraging, persistent efforts to increase the awareness levels are necessary. CAG will continue to promote energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy among school children in Tamil Nadu.
Social media plays a significant role in this digital era across all sectors. This is especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic situation, where consumers are left with little option than to communicate virtually using social media. Considering the potential of social media platforms, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) has been executing several social media campaigns to create awareness among citizens on electricity related issues such as understanding one’s electricity bill, the bill calculations during the pandemic, energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy and so on.
CAG’s social media campaign took the form of videos and posters and were shared on CAG’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. The posters were aimed at spreading awareness among consumers and enabling them to conserve energy by following best practices. In addition, the Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs), established by CAG in seven districts of Tamil Nadu viz Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore also actively promoted these posters on their WhatsApp groups, thus extending the reach of the campaign. We were able to reach around 500 consumers across the seven districts with our messages on energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy.
Posters were shared on social media platforms at regular intervals. Through this social media campaign, CAG has been able to reach a number of consumers to spread awareness on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
Image 1 - Posted on December 23, 2020
Image 2 - Posted on December 16, 2020
Image 3 - Posted on December 7, 2020
Image 4 - Posted on December 3, 2020
Image 5 - Posted on September 29, 2020
Image 6 - Posted on September 25, 2020
Image 7 - Posted on September 21, 2020
Image 8 - Posted on September 16, 2020
In 2019, nearly 14% of deaths in road crashes could have been avoided if drivers and passengers had worn seatbelt. Whether its a short ride or a long one, it's time to belt up!
Child restraints are special seat belts for children, designed to keep them safe in the car and are a requirement under the amended Motor Vehicles Act. Let's keep our children safe and use child restraints!
When we cram into an auto, a pothole or bump can cause a precariously seated passenger to fall out or the driver to lose control. Play it safe and don't try to fit in an extra person in an auto.