Reflective Jackets for Maharashtra Police Highway Traffic

India’s traffic Police force can be largely credited for reducing road accidents. Regulating traffic while being in constant danger themselves, they are primarily responsible for the safety and security of our lives on the road. Their own safety also depends how visible they are to oncoming traffic, visibility that is severely compromised in poor light conditions or at night. This risk is further accentuated on the highways where vehicle speeds are much higher than on busy city roads. Highways account for 55% of all road accidents and 61% of fatalities in India.
Wearing reflective clothing vastly improves visibility of the wearer and has been adopted by Police personnel across the developed world. Research on Evaluation of Reflective Vest Options strongly supports the need for high visibility while directing traffic, assisting motorists, stabilizing an accident scene and conducting roadblocks. These situations generally are consistent with the regulatory requirements regarding the wearing of the reflective clothing. It notes that a driver at 48 kilometres per hour can detect a subject in non-reflective or dark clothing at approximately 70 feet (giving the subject approximately 1.5 seconds to react). At 88 kms per hour, the reaction time was under one second.
Similar research in a simulated work zone concluded that, a driver detected a person in non-reflective clothing at 125 feet while they detected an individual in reflective clothing at 891 feet. Alarmingly however, a driver traveling at 56 kms per hour required 159 feet to stop. Hence, without the protection afforded to a person wearing reflective gear, drivers have little, if any, time to react to a potential collision ahead. Thus, due to the uniform colours, an officer conducting a traffic stop at night would, more than likely, not be seen in his or her uniform without the use of some reflective safety gear. This, and other similar research has led to developed nations considering reflective vests, illuminated apparel, or white clothing with reflective marking as a best practice today.
We, Yashlok Welfare Foundation were more than happy to help provide the Highway Traffic Police (Maharashtra) with good quality reflective clothing. With the help of a generous donation from ACKO General Insurance Limited, Yashlok Welfare Foundation was able to design and deliver 3,000 reflective jackets with road safety messages, tailor-made to the specific needs of the police. The jackets provide sufficient protection from the elements and give the wearer a sharp look that befits a law-enforcement professional.
Yashlok Welfare Foundation also works closely with the marginalised sections of the society that have faced extreme loss of livelihood and income due to COVID-19. Our endeavour to provide reflective clothing to the Maharashtra Highway Police Department also resulted in the direct employment of 35 individuals. We worked with a disabled woman entrepreneur and trained and employed 20 underprivileged women and 15 youth who had lost their jobs during COVID-19 pandemic.
The entire process from training to delivery took over four months from November 2020 till February 2021. By the end of the project, they were well trained in garment manufacturing skills which are useful across the textile industry. Skill building, as never before, is now considered an instrument to empower the individual and improve his/her social acceptance or value.
Yashlok Welfare Foundation believes that as micro-entrepreneurs, women not only make a huge contribution to national income, but they also create reliable social safety nets for their families and communities. Creating an atmosphere of inclusion & opportunity for the women will be a key factor in social & economic empowerment. This activity has not only achieved a respectable and sustainable means of employment for the underprivileged but provided them with a new skill set of stitching garments.

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