K.V. Subramanya

Road safety survey to focus on safety around the schools

  • School area safety is one of the key components under B-TRAC 2010
  • Drive soon against vehicles carrying children more than the prescribed number

    BANGALORE: FEBRUARY 22, 2006: Hemalatha (14), a Class VIII student of Nethaji Subashchandra Bose Government School in Jeevanbimanagar, was killed on the spot after a construction material-laden lorry ran over her in front of her school.

    Around 9 a.m., Hemalatha and a few girls got down from a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus and were crossing the road in a group to reach the school. They were taken by surprise on seeing a lorry speeding behind them. While some of them ran to safety, Hemalatha came under the wheels of the lorry.

    AUGUST 30, 2006: Abijith (12), a Class VI student of Holy Cross School in Indiranagar, was killed after a BMTC bus knocked him down at the junction of Indiranagar 100-Foot Road and Old Madras Road. The accident occurred around 8.30 a.m. when Abijith and a few other children were crossing the road at the junction to reach school.

    Such incidents, fortunately not many, have highlighted how unsafe the roads around the schools are. Absence of barricaded footpaths, pedestrian crossing facilities and road humps near the schools and vehicles jumping the speed limit in the school zone have been contributing to such accidents. According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.N. Reddi, school area safety is one of the key components of the comprehensive road safety programme to be taken up under the Rs. 350-crore Bangalore Traffic Improvement Programme B-TRAC 2010.

    Mr. Reddi told The Hindu that the police would soon select an expert agency, through tenders, to conduct the road safety survey and the report would be ready in a few months.

    While looking into various factors contributing to road accidents and identifying accident-prone spots in the city, the survey would focus on safety around the schools.

    Barricading of footpaths, painting zebra crossing, installing pedestrian controlled signal lights and putting up traffic signage around the schools would be taken up shortly.

    Besides, depending on the survey report, pedestrian underpass/overpass would be constructed near schools. At present policemen are being deployed near schools in busy areas to regulate traffic during the peak hours, he said.

    Mr. Reddi said he had instructed his staff to launch a special drive from June 11 to book autorickshaw and cab drivers carrying children in excess of the prescribed number. The drive will be in such a manner that the students would not be affected, he added.