Fostering Intelligent Driving

Fostering Intelligent Driving Fostering Intelligent Driving

While driving one cannot help but wonder how conscious motorists are of the traffic laws and lane discipline, and the repercussions of their driving styles.

Drivers are frequently seen drifting from line to line or, even worse, over the white lines (that exist primarily to delineate traffic lanes, inform motorists and pedestrians) or onto the gravel shoulder.

The drifting and zigzagging through lanes is a huge source of anxiety for law-abiding drivers and a major contributor to the high numbers of road accidents. Most of the time, the damage caused is to innocent motorists.

That is why Siavash Kashmiri, 25, along with a group has started a campaign that encourages drivers to stay between the lines to avoid traffic chaos and accidents. It has the support of the traffic police.

Titled “I Drive Between the Lines”, the movement initially began on the social platform Twitter and soon gained traction on other social networks such as Instagram and Telegram.

“The campaign first took off in February 2016,” Kashmiri, the main campaign protagonist, told ISNA. “Our goal is to print and provide rear windshield or bumper stickers that read ‘I drive between the lines’ to every driver.”

To begin with, they set up an account on Instagram and Telegram called ‘@khatcampaign’ which promotes the hashtag #between_the_lines, encouraging other cyberspace users to join and support the social move.

Although the campaign soon went viral in the virtual world, it still lacks sponsors and financial support. That, however, has not discouraged the group. Users were asked to print the sticker themselves and the idea was welcomed.

“So far we have ordered 5,000 stickers at our own expense to be distributed in Book City branches, book stores and a number of coffee shops in Tehran,” Kashmiri said, pointing out that some publications have expressed readiness to print the stickers for free and “several celebrities are also joining us in raising awareness on good traffic behavior.”

So far, the cities of Gorgan, Mashhad, Kermanshah, and Tehran have joined the campaign. The campaigners are also looking for volunteers to advance the program in their own cities.

  Police Support

Colonel Eynollah Jahani, education deputy at the Tehran Traffic Police, announced the traffic police approval for this spontaneous movement and hoped that such campaigns would help bring order and discipline to city and cut the snarling traffic.

Drifting from one’s lane encourages other drivers to do the same in order “to keep going and not feel pushed back or taken advantage of.”

“Driving between the lines helps reduce the chances of crashes, as drifting from lanes is the main culprit for 10% of car accidents,” he said.

By observing lane discipline, drivers also ensure smooth flow of the traffic. Another advantage is that it reduces mental stress and road rage in drivers, as they need not be on the lookout for cars that swerve speedily to invade their lane.

“Tensions created by two car side mirrors brushing each other are brought on when people drift through lanes, and this can lead to serious verbal or physical abuse,” Jahani said. “Just as two parallel lines never meet, vehicles moving between the parallel white lines will also not collide.”

The current traffic law stipulates cars that deviate from their lanes be fined 400,000 rials ($11.5) per transgression. However, in the overcrowded streets and highways of almost all urban areas, it is rather impossible to keep track of every car that violates the rule.

Although the campaign seems to be achieving results, its development and expansion calls for cooperation by the citizens, the youth in particular. People can help by purchasing the stickers and distributing them among those who are less tech-savvy or do not have access to cyberspace