As of a few days ago, as many as 300 stray dogs and cattle across the city of Chennai were fitted with brand new, shiny accessories. Based on the same logic as night workers’ reflective jackets, these ‘magic collars’ have been created out of material that allow light to bounce off them, ensuring that the animals will be visible to drivers on dimly-lit roads.
This initiative was the brainchild of People For Cattle in India (PFCI), a non-profit organization.Volunteers of PFCI undertook a survey which showed that as many as 90 percent of vehicle owners had trouble spotting stray dogs and cattle in the night, endangering both motorists and street animals. The problem identified by this study formed the starting point of their project. As Arun Prasanna, founder of PFCI said, “We decided to take one more step and use it for cattle as well.”
Chennai Corporation Data from 2014 states that the city’s streets are home to over 80,000 stray dogs, while there’s no available data about how many stray animals are found run over by vehicles in the first place. Making these strays more visible to drivers can go a long way in curbing road accidents, and this experiment is an important step towards better road safety.