Children's affectionate enjoinment on their parents to follow traffic rules can be more effective than a cop's order, because parents love to listen to their children's suggestions.
But this will be possible only when children are taught traffic rules on a regular basis in schools, the speakers felt at a meeting of principals, head masters and correspondents of government and private schools on Friday.
The meeting was organised by The Hindu in association with the city police at Manor Food Plaza on Tikkle Road, as part of the ongoing month-long awareness campaign on road safety and traffic rules. Efftronics sponsored the programme, while D.V. Manor was the hospitality sponsor.
Commissioner of Police P.S.R. Anjaneyulu, who briefly addressed the invitees towards the end of the session, asked managements of schools to ensure that the drivers of vehicles that ferry children were physically fit and well-trained. It was also important for parents to ensure that not more than six children would board an auto-rickshaw. Parents should not encourage more number of children to ply by an auto-rickshaw just because it would mean lesser monthly payment to the auto-rickshaw driver, he said.
The Commissioner also unveiled a CD on traffic awareness brought out in 2D-format by the traffic wing of the city police. Responding to a suggestion made by the principal of a school that students could be involved in traffic management, on the lines of a successful experiment carried out in Mumbai, Mr. Anjaneyulu said that the students could be definitely roped in traffic management near their schools. The schools interested in involving their children in this could contact the traffic police. About 140 representatives from more than 100 schools attended the session and had their doubts clarified on various issues pertaining to traffic scenario in the vicinity of their schools.
A representative of a school in One Town referred to the poor condition of roads in their area, the straying of cattle on roads and encroachments by petty vendors. Deputy Commissioner of Police M. Ravindranath Babu assured that the road condition will be improved by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation before Dasara festival and the cattle problem will be dealt with by the ‘Go Samrakshana Samithi'.
Another principal of a school near Srinivasa Mahal in One Town sought posting of a traffic constable at the traffic island during closing hours of the school. Mr. Ravindranath Babu said that the deployment of traffic constables everywhere not possible as the number of constables available was far less than the number of traffic junctions. Mr. Ravindranath Babu earlier said that the month-long campaign was designed to reach every section of the society, and school managements had a major role to play in educating children. Enforcement of traffic rules by the police personnel would be successful only when there was self-discipline among the general public, he felt.
Road Transport Officer Ch.V.K. Subba Rao spoke of the growing problem of driving of vehicles by minors, who were below the qualifying age to get a driving licence.
District Educational Officer (DEO) M. Venkata Subbaiah said school children deserved more sessions of this kind, as they could effectively spread the message.
K. Chandrasekaran, Regional General Manager, The Hindu, Vijayawada, said that the responsibility lay more with parents and teachers to monitor the attitude of children towards traffic rules.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) A.V. Ramana, Deputy Education Officer M.V. Krishna Reddy, M.V. Muralikrishna, Director, Efftronics, Sub-Inspector (Traffic) B. Guna Ramu and others participated.