Monday, 17 February 2014

Zero Road Violation Culture-A social media way?

B. Dayananda, I.P.S, Additional Commisioner of Police (Traffic), Bangalore City took the stage to elucidate the gathering on the efforts and progress made by the Bangalore Traffic Police through Social Media to curb Road/Traffic Violation via the Bangalore Traffic Police Facebook Page.
How does it work?
The exercise is User Driven - with commuters capturing and uploading photos of violations as they happen.
The Bangalore Traffic police knew that they were dealing with a double edged sword when they put up their Facebook page but over the 3 years since then, they have achieved some insights which is helping them to place an effective and functional platform for commuters to exchange information and get their grievances aired.
The response has been huge and the Bangalore Traffic Police admits to being swamped at times by the sheer volume of feedback, queries and complaints. Though complaints have been more personal in nature than public, the force is working on finding ways to effectively respond and resolve as many issues within minimum response time.
This also led to launching the “Carpool app” which encourages commuters to help ease city traffic at peak hours by sparingly using your car to travel around the city unless absolutely necessary. This has been successfully implemented in a city where the annual growth in population is 4.5% as compared to the 25% increase in number of cars. What remains to be seen is how the city can be more actively engaged in using the internet and Social Media to develop and maintain Road regulations and minimize road violations.
A new working culture has been established since the campaign took off. With the force having to actually “practise what you preach!” This realization has come through after numerous experiences and exchanges on Facebook.
Can Social Media actually help in shaping acceptable road behaviour? It seems the takeaway from the experience of the Bangalore Traffic Police is that the force needs to get more net savvy to deal with the demands of the times and keep up with efforts at improving and creating higher awareness about good road behaviour. The force has, through determination and action built greater capability with higher transparency in function.
A twitter handle which will allow for real time updates and up-to-date traffic concentration alerts around the city is in the offing. The rest of the country could learn a thing or two about using Social media to build a Zero Road Violation Culture.
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