The Motor Vehicle Act 1988 is run over by minors who don't even have the licence to drive. For schoolchildren's turning drivers before their age, police blame principals, who point finger at parents.
In a reality check on Thursday, only one school was found in the city where underage students did not have own vehicles parked on the premises. That exception was Little Angles Co-ed, where children follow the strict rule of commuting by bicycle.
A fortnight ago, the district police had a meeting with the school principals and handed them a charter of instructions about road safety, to pass on to the students and their parents. Traffic police also had displayed road signs in each school for awarness and doing their part of the duty. "We have a file full of requests from parents to let their children come to school on two-wheelers," said sister Crispin Maria, principal of Christ The King Convent.
At some schools, the principals said they did not let children without valid driving licence park on the premises; but more or less, they all shifted the shifted the responsibility to police.
"If traffic police start issuing ticket, things can be under control," said Jaspal Gill, principal of Bawa-Lalvani Public School. "If traffic police are around the schools, the students will be forced to follow the rules and road discipline, an the traffic outside during opening and closing hours could be regulated," said Gurmit Singh Arora, principal of KRJ DAV Public School.
We give away traffic-awareness material to parents and students. Children who don't have driving licence are not allowed to park on the premises. If they park vehicles outside, it is not our responsibility.
Gurmit Singh Arora, Kulwant Rai Jain DAV Public School
As our responsibility, we arrange regular interaction of traffic police with our students. Most of our students come to school on bicycle, and we encourage them to use school transport.
Jaspal Gill, Bawa-Lalvani Public School
Parents should cooperate with school administrations. It is for the betterment of their wards only, yet they resist disciplining moves on the pretext that they cannot spare the time to drop their wards to schools.
Prabhdeep Monga, MGN Public School
Our parents understand what we have conveyed to them. We have their full cooperation. No student is allowed to bring two-wheeler to the school and we have a good number of pupils. It's a matter of will power.
Kiran J Khinda, Little Angles Co-ed
It's the school principals' job to give traffic lessons to students and be strict with them, come what the pressure from parents be. They have their staff at the gates for 10 minutes each day during the opening and closing hours to ensure that the children have crossed the road safely.
Inderbir Singh, Kapurthala SSP