A Death Trap ...
Since the days of Gurukul and Madarsa, children used to strive hard to reach their places of learning. They had to walk barefoot across the thick forest, along the pug dandies braving the variant climatic conditions. Today, the scenario is altogether different but the problems of students’ commutation is still there as scores of students are being transported to schools like ’goods’ in overloaded auto rickshaws in the name of Public School Culture. We tend to ignore the tiny tot’s safety, as 15 small kids or more are pushed into a small auto rickshaw, their bags/water bottles hang all over. Imagine, in case of sudden application of brake, the auto can overturn, which would transform the smiles and cheerfulness of tiny tots into painful agony for all of us.
Joy Ride Or Death Trap?
Look at their faces! Their carefree smiles immersed in their own world. All this could change into a nightmare - by your carelessness. Imagine what could happen, if a speeding car rams in from behind; or if you have to apply sudden brakes, throwing the kids overboard and caught under with another car coming from behind. Would you like this to happen? This is a serious traffic offense under the Motor Vehicles Act and you could be fined upto Rs. 2000. If money is not a consideration, what about the little bubbling lives? Never Drive Your Car With an Open Dicky Ensure Your Children’s Safety.
Advice for Children:
Every day you go to the school to get education. But it is also important that you take care of yourself while on your way to school and back. Keep in mind the following safety rules and use them without fail.
- Always walk on the footpath only. On roads without footpath, walk on the extreme right hand side of the roads. Do not be impatient on the road. Do not rush or run on the road.
- Cross only at Zebra crossings, traffic signals, subways, foot over-bridges. Where such facilities do not exist, look for a safe place to cross.
- At the signal lights, cross only on a clear green signal. If an intersection is controlled by a policeman, traffic warden or RSP cadet, cross only when he signals you to do so.
- When crossing between vehicles parked on the side of the road, remember that you are not visible to the moving traffic (because the parked vehicles may be higher than you). Stop as you appear from behind the vehicle and look for a safe gap before crossing. Remember, drivers need plenty of time to see you and to slow down and stop.
- While crossing wide roads that have central islands, always cross in two stages. Cross to the central Island, stop, and cross when the next section is clear.
- While crossing one-way streets, remember that the traffic will usually be moving in a number of lanes and at higher speeds. Do not cross unless all lanes are clear.
- Never cross a road at a corner, as the motorist taking the turn will not be able to see you on time.
- Running across the road is a bad idea, as you may slip and fall.
- Leave home well in time, so that you won’t have to run to catch the bus.
- At the bus stand, always follow the queue. Board the bus only after it has come to the proper stop, without rushing in or pushing others.
- While in the bus, shouting or making a noise is definitely bad manners. Such behavior can also distract the driver.
- Do not board or alight at a bus stop other than the one decided by the school. Never board and alight at a red light crossing or unauthorized bus stop.
- Always hold onto the handrail if standing in a moving bus, especially on sharp turns.
- Do not sit, stand or travel on the footboard of the bus.
- Do not put any part of your body outside a moving or stationary bus.
- Always adhere to the bus safety rules.
Advice for parents of school children:
- Parents are equally responsible for the safety of their children during school journeys.
- They must ensure that the mode of transport arranged by school or by themselves is absolutely safe.
- Parents must play the role of vigilant observers. They should note down violations committed by school buses and immediately report to the authorities.
- Parents must participate in P.T.A. meetings and discuss the safety aspects of their children.
- While taking their children to school themselves, they should take proper care of their safety.
- Parents must ensure that the children acquire the right knowledge and skills for safe use of roads. They should teach their children the basic rules of the road, how to walk and cross the road, how to alight and board a bus etc.
- Parents should not allow their minor children to drive.
- Parents must also ensure that the right attitude for a law abiding citizen is imparted to their children by the family.
- Children are very good observers and therefore, parents must set an example by meticulously observing even small traffic rules.
Remember safety of children must be the foremost priority of every parent.
Advice for teachers for ensuring safety of school children:
It is the responsibility of school authorities and the teachers to ensure the safety of school children and also to impart the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to be a safe road user.
1. Teachers should help develop a responsible attitude towards road use in school children.
2. Teachers should impart essential knowledge about roads and traffic to school children, by:
- Making them familiar with the rules of road and their importance.
- By explaining them the causes of accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and children.
- Telling them about the cause and extent of pollution due to traffic.
3. Children come to school in various modes of transport. Teachers should ensure that:
- The children enter and leave the school safely.
- There is no conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.
- The vehicles including school buses are parked safely and properly.
4. Children should be supervised and taken care of at the time of alighting and boarding the school bus.
5. Every school bus must be accompanied by a teacher for controlling the children and the bus driver.
6. The teacher should arrange for an alternate bus and keep the children together at one place if the school bus fails to arrive or if there is any problem.
7. There should be regular checking of school buses to ensure compliance with mandatory safety requirements.
8. If any school bus or any conveyance, by which children come to school, violates traffic rules, the teachers should inform about it to their principal or Traffic Police Control Room.