In a bid to create awareness among students on road safety and equip them with the training required to guide motorists and pedestrians near school premises, the Tamil Nadu Police Traffic Wardens Organisation inaugurated Road Safety Patrol (RSP) units in five more Corporation schools.

“Out of every 100, 33 deaths are caused by road accidents and this amounts to 1,35,000 deaths a year in our country,” said A. Mahesh, Chief Traffic Warden. Explaining the role of RSP units in schools, he said, most of the time, road accidents occurred because of minor negligence and ignorance, like not wearing helmet and not being careful while crossing roads etc.

The RSP members would stand near the school gates before and after school time to ensure congestion-free traffic and help students cross the road. They would not allow any vehicle to park, pick-up or drop students in front of the school gates. They were also expected to take the message of road safety measures to their families and neighbourhoods.

With these five schools, the units are functional in 14 Corporation schools and around 9,000 students are part of the programme.

Chief guest T. Senthil Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime and Traffic, inaugurated the RSP units and distributed the copies of “My personal Road Safety Guide” to the students. As many as 500 students from Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Ondipudur, Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Ondipudur, Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School, Ramanakrishnapuram, Corporation Boys Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, and Rajalakshmi Mills High School, Singanallur, took the pledge and joined the RSP programme.

In his address, Mr. Senthil Kumar recollected how he was affected by the deaths of three students who were his co-travellers in an accident when he was in college. “We tend to ignore such incidents unless it happens to our near and dear ones. We should learn to care for others and help them,” he added. He asked the students to improve their concentration and learn to be more careful.

P. Ramdas, headmaster, Corporation Boys Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, in his presidential address, asked the students to listen to their teachers and parents. He also said that parents should take care to send their children to school early so that they did not have to hurry up to reach on time.

Vijayaragavan, Chief Traffic Warden, Ooty, in his address, asked the students to avoid travelling on bus footboards, using cell phones while driving or walking on roads and triple-riding on two-wheelers.

M. Khaja Moideen, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and C. Anbalagan, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic East, also addressed the audience.

N. Kennedy, Deputy Chief Traffic Warden, proposed a vote of thanks.

S. Vivek, president, and Nivas of the Vasavi Club that had sponsored books for the programme, were also present.

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