Srinagar, Feb 6: Vice-Chancellor of University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad on Saturday inaugurated a road safety signature campaign that aims to encourage people to drive safely and help prevent road accidents.

The week-long programme has been organised by the varsity’s National Service Scheme (NSS) in collaboration with J&K Traffic Police Department.

The NSS aims to get at least 8,000 signatures from people across Kashmir on a safe driving pledge that seeks motorists to follow road safety norms, discourage rash driving or driving without licenses and help promote a safe driving culture to prevent road accidents and save precious human lives.

In his brief address to the NSS volunteers, who will lead the signature campaign, Prof Talat said that universities and colleges in the UT should take a lead in raising awareness on road safety.

He said young bikers are seen risking their lives by riding their bikes rashly or riding them without wearing the crash helmets.

“Parents must seek an undertaking, a pledge on safe driving from their children before allowing them to ride their bikes. There has to be a collective effort to prevent road accidents which are devouring thousands of precious human lives across the country every year,” Prof Talat, who was first to sign on the campaign board, said.

Registrar Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir said the university is open to encouraging and promoting such public welfare initiatives.

“The university, apart from promoting academics and research, has an obligation to raise awareness on important issues like road safety that concern the society at large,” he said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Srinagar, Dr Javaid A Koul, who was a guest of honour, said 80 percent of deaths due to road accidents devour people in the age group of 13 to 34 years.

He said 13.4 lakh people die of road accidents globally every year while this figure is more than 1,50,000 in our country. He said the role of education in raising awareness on road safety is crucial to preventing road accidents.

“We want such collaborative campaigns to be a regular feature so that we are able to reach to as many people as possible and urge them to drive safely. Road accidents are preventable, but this goal can be achieved only with the active involvement of all stakeholders, particularly educational institutions,” he said.

Dr Mussavir Ahmad, Coordinator NSS, underlined the aims and objectives of the signature campaign. He said raising awareness on road safety regularly can go a long way in preventing road accidents.

The inaugural function, apart from senior traffic police officers, was attended by KU’s top academics and administrators including Dean Academic Affairs Prof Akbar Masood, Dean School of Behavioual Sciences Prof Showkat Ahmad Shah, Principal Institute of Music and Fine Arts Prof Mohammad Hussain,  and former KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi. 

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