Riding bikes without helmets, speeding or jumping signals often pose a risk to drivers and pedestrians. Worried about safety of students on road, city schools are working with the traffic department to create awareness on responsible driving.
For the last couple of weeks, students of Swami Vivekananda International School, Kandivli, have been standing in front of their school marking out parents riding without helmets or seat belts. The school director and a traffic cop tell parents and their children about the risks of unsafe driving. “Your children love you, please think of them when driving,” read a placard.
The school started the initiative after its 14-year-old student died in an accident on August 18. Harsh Dholakia, a Class 9 student, was killed when he fell off the two-wheeler he was riding pillion with his father. Neither of them was wearing a helmet.
“The incident prompted us to teach students and parents the importance of road safety,” said Yogesh Patel, school director . “Accidents often occur not because of your mistake but someone else’s. It’s important to wear safety gear.”
Principals said they notice parents flouting traffic rules when they drop their children to school. “Children often sit on the bike precariously or with their back to the rider,” said principals.
On August 6, the school called the traffic department to talk to parents on the dangers of flouting traffic rules. “Parents double park, take U-turns or stop in front of the gates,” said Pramila Kudwa, principal of Pawar Public School, Kandivli, adding that this makes it unsafe for students and pedestrians.
Non-profit organisations said schools are starting to educate people on road safety in the light of increasing road accidents. “Even though school- going children don’t drive, they can influence their parents and siblings,” said Vinodini Lulla, trustee, Children’s Movement of Civic Awareness that works with students from Classes 7 and 8.
The traffic department said they are getting many requests from schools to partner with them. “Last week, we conducted programmes in three to four schools,” said Bhagwan Darade, senior inspector of the Kandivli traffic outpost.