KOCHI: Once upon a time they were the villains of the road. Racing through narrow streets at breakneck speed, injuring some, killing others and the wrath of the khaki men always behind their back. But that was some time ago. Today after counselling and training under the district Motor Vehicles Department, many of the villains have transformed into good souls.
In a bid to take this friendship forward the Motor Vehicles Department is now all set to organise a mass meeting of all the drivers who were given counselling under them.
The Drivers’ Counselling Centre which was launched in 2010 was one of its kind initiative by the Ernakulam Motor Vehicles department. The aim of the programme is to help the rash drivers avoid road accidents and thereby reducing the offences in the city. Drivers who are caught driving in a frenzy would be selected to attend the counselling sessions and a fine will also be imparted.
The counselling programme under the Deputy Transport Commissioner would be held every month. Under each session the drivers would be given sessions under a psychologist, a gastroenterologist, a regular doctor, an advocate and others from the motor vehicles department. In the first session the psychologist will help them understand their mental and emotional problems which might be the cause of many accidents. The gastroenterologist will help the drivers who are regularly booked for alcoholism. The advocate helps them to get an idea about what all measures are to be taken post- accidents.
“We have been getting very positive response from all those who have been trained. In most cases we personally call them and ask if they have had any accidents after the counselling. The answer has been no so far. But if there is a meeting of all the trained drivers, it could be a concrete exercise and this can build a regular rapport. Moreover it will help us in getting continuous feedback and understand how successful the programme is,”said the Programme Coordinator Adarsh Kumar G Nair.
Over thousand drivers have attended the programme since its inception. “The meeting is to be held by July. Our district is the only one which provides such counselling. We are trying to increase the number of classes from once in a month to once in every week. This is an attempt to help the drivers face their own problems and come to terms with them,” said the Deputy transport commissioner P A Sainudeen.