A Thought-Provoking Cartoon: Reflecting on Road Safety Awareness

During the 7th UN Road Safety Week, an enlightening road trip cartoon exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Nepal Road Safety Council, Nepal Police, Rotary Club International, Road Safety Society of Nepal, and Cartoonist Club of Nepal. From May 15 to 18, visitors had the opportunity to explore 30 remarkable cartoons by 26 talented cartoonists. Among the thought-provoking artworks, Deepak Gautam's cartoon stood out, shedding light on the tendencies of road users and emphasizing the importance of following traffic rules. In this blog, we will dissect Gautam's cartoon, focusing on its message and the artistic elements that make it noteworthy.

Gautam's cartoon portrays a father and his young son traveling on a motorcycle along a city road. Alongside the road, a traffic sign clearly indicates a prohibition on making right turns. Curiously, the son asks his father about the meaning of the sign. In response, the father jokingly explains that the presence of a traffic policeman serves as an indication that right turns are not allowed. This clever dialogue captures the common tendency among road users in Kathmandu, where compliance with traffic rules often stems from a desire to avoid reprimands rather than a genuine commitment to safety. Unfortunately, this behavior contributes to an increase in accidents.

Gautam's cartoon shines not only in its message but also in its artistic brilliance. Created using digital tools, the cartoon exhibits smooth and refined lines, contributing to its overall visual appeal. The artist employed a watercolor brush for coloring, imparting a delightful watercolor-like effect to the artwork. As viewers engage with the A3 size print copy at the exhibition, they will undoubtedly appreciate the attention to detail and the captivating presentation.

An essential aspect of Gautam's cartoon lies in the depiction of the father and son on the motorcycle. While the child is seen wearing a helmet, symbolizing a commitment to safety, the father neglects to wear one. This detail draws attention to the importance of both riders wearing helmets, regardless of their roles or the distance traveled. The inclusion of this disparity sends a powerful message, urging individuals, particularly parents, to prioritize the safety of all passengers, regardless of age. It is worth noting that the cartoon's focus was on emphasizing the need for the child to wear a helmet, and the reason behind Gautam's artistic choice is not explicitly stated.

The road trip cartoon exhibition held during the 7th UN Road Safety Week in Nepal served as a platform for raising awareness about road safety. Deepak Gautam's cartoon stood out among the collection, shedding light on road users' tendencies to comply with traffic rules only to avoid action from traffic police. The artwork's aesthetic excellence and the underlying message made it a noteworthy contribution to the exhibition. The portrayal of the helmet-wearing child served as a reminder of the importance of road safety, urging individuals to ensure that all passengers, especially children, wear helmets while riding motorcycles. While the artistic choice regarding the father's lack of a helmet raises questions, it is crucial to appreciate the broader message conveyed by the cartoon. Let Gautam's artwork inspire us to prioritize road safety and work towards creating a culture of responsible and mindful behavior on the roads.


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