Additional police personnel posted to regulate traffic
Traffic snarls in school zones are a common sight in the city, both in the mornings and afternoons.
Such snarls can largely be seen on Avanashi Road, right from Peelamedu to the flyover, and on Tiruchi Road, from Ramanathapuram till Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. Traffic jams are also not uncommon in Sai Baba Colony, Pappanaickenpalayam, Puliakulam and many other areas where vehicles pile up on either side of the road.
In schools where children from affluent families study, cars used to drop them at schools end up choking traffic in the school zone. In the case of other schools, though children come in autorickshaws or taxis, the number of vehicles reaching the school is estimated to be approximately more than 200 a day, say sources in the city traffic police
The line-up of vehicles on road boundaries at school zones hampers the flow of traffic as they occupy a substantial portion of motorable space. The vehicles exiting the school zone hold up traffic, as well.
To tackle this problem, when the schools re-opened on June 15, the city police posted additional police personnel in school zones to regulate traffic. Considering the available road space and the number of vehicles coming to the schools, these measures are still proving to be inadequate, laments N. Vellingiri, a school van driver.
K. Arumugam, a driver with the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation's city service, says that many like him had to lose a trip because of the loss of running time due to traffic snarls in school zones.
Drivers plying vans, maxi-cabs and autorickshaws to schools to transport children point out that traffic snarls occurred because schools had the practice of keeping the gates shut. They suggest that schools should have an entry gate, a designated point for children to board the vehicles and an exclusive gate for vehicles to exit to ensure easy movement of vehicles.
N. Aravamudhan, a parent, says that preventing entry of vehicles into the school not only caused traffic problems but also endangered the lives of children, who tend to run out of the school to try and locate their vehicles to go home. In the process, they run the risk of being hit. Also, nobody knows whether the child boarded the right vehicle.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) S. Nizamuddin says the city police have already taken cognizance of the problem.
On instructions from Commissioner of Police Amaresh Pujari, additional police personnel are being posted in school zones during the school opening and closing hours.
Now, schools are being sensitised to the need to have a Road Safety Patrol (RSP) wherein senior students trained in road rules and road safety will spend half-an-hour in the morning and evening to help other students cross the road, board vehicles and regulate the flow of vehicles in the area.
Chief Traffic Warden A. Mahesh was visiting the schools and taking forward this initiative, Mr. Nizamuddin added.
Now, as many as 7,020 RSP volunteers man 59 schools and 19 colleges in the city and the police have plans to have RSPs in about 100 schools before the end of this academic year. This initiative will cover all the schools - private, Government, aided and Corporation managed ones. In schools where the students cannot afford to buy the uniforms, the police are in talks with the NGOs to sponsor uniforms and equipment.
The police are also preparing a list of schools that have space to let the vehicles come into their premises and exit after dropping or picking up the children. The managements of these schools will be sensitised in this regard.