They often overtake cars, buses and other motorists at break-neck speed and criss-cross the heavy vehicles on the main road and even on the highway, unmindful of the dangers involved.
There is no stopping youth, when they zip down the roads on 200 cc, 250 cc or 350 cc bikes. Youth signifies power and a ‘monstrous machine’ in their hands is a deadly combination.
They send a chill down the spines of other motorists, especially senior citizens, as they literally rub shoulders with the ‘slow riders’.
Hundreds of minors and their parents were counselled by the City Traffic Police during the last two years. In a majority of the cases, the minors were found violating the traffic rules, triple riding, cell phone driving and indulging in dangerous driving practices apart from driving without license.
College and sometimes high school students compare themselves with their peers and pester their parents for a bike and the latter given in to their demands.
Police officials feel that ‘missing human relations’ and ‘lack of understanding between parents and children’ as most parents have hectic work schedules that come in the way of giving quality time to their children as an important cause for parents readily giving in to the demands of their children.
R. Ganesh, a freelance videographer, who has nearly two decades of experience with various news channels in the city, was touched by the plight of the family members of road accident victims. In association with some others, he launched the first ‘Road Safety Awareness Mock Drill’ on the Beach Road on January 7, last year.
The mock drill in which around 100 artistes participated had helped in sensitising a large number of people on the importance of safety on the roads. The mock accidents that ‘occurred’ on the Beach Road led to the Police Control Room 127 getting calls asking the police what they were doing when so many accidents had taken place on a single day.
“This year we plan to conduct a bigger drill with 200 artistes on January 5 on the Beach Road. Motorists and passers-by can witness the impact of drunken driving, cell phone driving, triple riding, driving on the wrong side, over speeding, sleepy driving, rash driving and ‘chunni’ driving (girls and women covering their face with chunnis), which can sometimes mask their eyes,” says Ganesh, who is also the founder president of Sathgeeth Creations and organiser B.S. Chandrasekhar.
They said that the programme was being done in association with the City Police, Road Transport Department and Lorry Owners Welfare Association with the objective of creating awareness among road users.
Deputy Transport Commissioner Md. Saleem said that he had seen video coverage of last year’s mock drill and expressed surprise that a voluntary organisation could generate such a huge impact among the people. He felt that similar programmes could be undertaken in other parts of the State also.
Motor Vehicle Inspector A.H. Khan, Lorry Owners Association state president Janakiram Reddy and AP State Cultural Council member Badamgeer Sai spoke at a media conference organised by Sathgeeth Creations on Thursday.