It is important to understand concepts of safety on the road.It is not uncommon to see children in their teens driving today. Mostly they drive two-wheelers, with scant regard for personal safety as well as that of other road users. While most of these activities take place without the knowledge of parents, there are other cases where parents take pride in the ability of their children to drive. But how much attention do such children pay towards road safety is a moot question.This aspect figured prominently at the inaugural function of the 18th National Road Safety Week organized by the Dakshina Kannada district administration in association with the Departments of Transport and Police here last week. Prime among the concern raised by speakers was the growing disrespect of road safety rules by road users, especially teenagers, and horrific ends to their misadventure.H.M. Bharathesh, Principal District and Sessions' Judge was of the firm opinion that it is imperative to educate children, especially the teenagers about road safety norms.
Follow rules"Children in their formative years are more receptive to ideas and suggestions. If they are educated about the hazards of disregarding road safety norms, the education will remain with them for rest of their lives and our roads become a lot safer," he says. Expressing concern over the growing tendency among people to treat their vehicles as speed machines rather than as a means of transport to commute between places, Mr. Bharathesh noted, that the authorities concerned have to create an awareness about the perils of over speeding in schools and colleges. "Youth tend to use vehicles for joy rides or for the sheer kick of driving them. It is frightening to see children whiz past in vehicles," he adds. For M. Shantaram Shetty, eminent orthopaedic, the tendency of young people to go on spins on their vehicles, throwing caution to wind, is a worrying trend. "Many people who I have treated for serious fractures, sometime even requiring amputation, have confided that they did so for the thrill of it. But none apparently gave a thought to the consequences," he rues. Even Rajavarma Ballal, president, Canara Bus Operators Association, was quick to stress the need for imparting road safety lessons for children and including them as part of their syllabus. "In our days, we had lessons on road safety in our syllabus. But the same has gradually disappeared from text books," he points out. The result is the ever-increasing number of accidents and waste of precious young promising lives. Is anybody listening?