How Indian Police forces are leveraging Twitter to raise awareness about Road Safety

Road Safety Month

From online initiatives to driving social media conversations around on-ground events, Road Safety Month 2021 is being celebrated with fervour on Twitter by various official police department handles, we take a look.

In India, road accidents are a major cause of deaths every year. The reasons for these accidents are endless, from drunk driving, not wearing a helmet to rash driving. To create awareness around these issues, the central government has come up with Road Safety Month 2021. Up until recently, the initiative used to be wrapped up in a week but this year, it was decided for it to be a month-long event starting January 18.

Till February 17 this year, nation-wide activities are being arranged by government authorities, especially the traffic divisions of various Indian Police forces in the country. Such events give them a chance to interact with public in formal and informal settings, helping facilitate interactions without overwhelming the public. Since most of them have official presence on Twitter, the platform has proved to be key for such communication.

As part of Road Safety Month 2021, Indian Police forces have arranged for events such as virtual sessions with experts, lectures and select campus programmes, as well as good old banner promotions on the road. Celebrities such as Shankar Mahadevan have also bee roped in to make the communication interesting, friendly and impactful. All these activities are being documented and promoted using Twitter, along with specific creatives that have been put up for the initiative.

Interacting with Citizens

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, authorities have come up with a number of online sessions to interact with citizens. Delhi Traffic Police included school children and their parents in the fold by holding a road safety awareness session with them. In Telangana, police personnel conducted a session for corporate employees, making them aware of the various road safety aspects they should keep in mind.

On The Road

Partnering with singer Shankar Mahadevan, Navi Mumbai Police created a ‘One Day With Police’ campaign. Here, he went around talking to people in the city, greeting them warmly and talking to them about their day and things they should keep in mind about road safety. Taking their Traffic Panda mascot to various locations in the city, Gurugram Police was able to connect with citizens in a way that led several selfies being clicked. Hyderabad Traffic Police concentrated on pedestrian safety and facilitated pedestrians with roses for using FOBS and footpaths.

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Road Safety Month 2021 Creatives

Police authorities have been actively posting on Twitter about ways people can keep themselves safe on the road. These posts include precautionary messages like: Do not drink and drive, Wear a seat belt, Avoid tripling on two wheelers and Wear a helmet. Delhi Traffic Police put up a Road Safety pledge on Twitter for people to follow throughout the month.

Government Authorities in Action

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways inaugurated the event on January 18 which was live streamed on social media. Later, the minister also held a conference in Delhi addressing road accidents in India and safety.

The National Highways Authority of India has been posting on Twitter on a daily basis since the beginning of the event. The posts of the organisation are educational, precautionary and guide people with regulations to follow while on the road.

Such initiatives not only help police authorities raise awareness but also inculcate friendly ties with citizens. They are on the road, willing to lend an ear and have conversations — it goes a long way in fostering trust among people.

With Twitter, they are able to go beyond their geographical limits and reach a much higher number of people. Events conducted on the road are also packaged in a way that they lead to several conversations online. Road Safety Month 2021 has just begun and it definitely looks promising, at least from the lens of the 280-characters — wouldn’t you agree?