Surprise road safety tips for RTO applicants.

When 21-year-old M. Mahalakshmi arrived at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Alandur on Saturday morning for her driving license test, she encountered a surprise.

Along with over a hundred other applicants, she was enlightened about various measures for safe driving. Mahalakshmi, a commerce graduate from Naganallur, expressed her appreciation, stating, Never before have I had such exposure to road safety.

On average, approximately 3,000 individuals apply for a license every month at the Meenambakkam and Tambaram RTOs. The 20th Road Safety Week aims to instill the habit of adhering to traffic rules and safety measures as a lifestyle, rather than merely memorizing rules to pass a test.

This year's theme, Carefully Drive, Reach Alive, echoes the sentiment of the Union Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport, and Highways in 2009.

In suburban areas, the Road Safety Week celebrations, jointly organized by the Meenambakkam and Tambaram RTOs, took on a novel approach. Instead of traditional methods like distributing pamphlets, each day of the week was dedicated to specific activities.

Including free vehicle emission checks, distribution of reflecting stickers for vehicles, eye-testing camps, first-aid camps, and promoting the importance of wearing helmets.

These initiatives are not just events but part of a broader effort by the transport department to raise awareness about safe driving. The awareness programs are particularly significant considering the alarming rise in fatal accidents in the state, with over 12,000 fatalities reported in 2007 alone. The jurisdiction of these RTOs covers a vast area within a 50-kilometer radius, emphasizing the importance of their efforts.

Furthermore, steps have been taken to enhance road safety, such as the computerization of the RTOs in Alandur and Tambaram, which has brought transparency to the process of issuing driving licenses. This ensures that candidates with sufficient knowledge of traffic rules and safety measures receive priority, contributing to safer roads for all.

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