A school-dropout who embarked on a mission to guide students to scientific innovations has developed a technology claiming that it will help in averting road accidents. The simple mechanism that will automatically reverse the side-stand of a motorcycle when the ignition is turned on has come at a time when Tamil Nadu tops the country in fatal road accidents.

P.O Jayapandian, a school dropout of Madurai who moved to Dharmapuri to pursue his dream of establishing a laboratory for promoting scientific innovations among students, has designed this model and applied for patenting.

“Many people start in a hurry and forget to reverse the side-stand. This can cause road accidents resulting in injuries or even fatalities. This device will restore the side-stand to its original position automatically when the ignition is turned on,” Mr. Jayapandian told The Hindu on Wednesday.

This is not all. The self-styled scientist has also developed a system where the indicator of four-wheelers will glow when the steering wheel is rotated beyond a certain degree of angle left or right. After successfully testing the two models, Mr. Jayapandian has posted the videos on his website.

“My role model is former president and eminent scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He has proved to the world that poverty is not a barrier to excel in life. Amid financial constraints, I am doing my best to develop creative ideas that will make life simpler and safer,” he said.

Mr. Jayapandian is now the founder and managing trustee of the Indian Science Educational Trust that motivates school students to make creative scientific innovations and present them in exhibitions. “I have applied for patenting the automatic side-stand and indicator technology and it would be out in the market soon.”

However, when contacted, officials in the State Transport Authority said any internal/external modification of the standard design of automobiles required approval of the competent authority. Innovations such as those of Mr. Jayapandian had to be cleared by agencies like the Automobile Research Association of India, Pune.

“Even the paint colour of a vehicle cannot be changed without the approval of the RTO. Vehicle particulars mentioned in the Registration Certificate form part of the standard design which cannot be altered…the user could be held liable in the event of an accident caused by the alteration ,” Assistant Secretary, State Transport Authority, Pon Senthilnathan said.