Three students on a two-wheeler without helmets in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Catch them on roads, slap fines on their parents.
Ranchi traffic police will now fall back on this unique strategy to rein in schoolchildren riding two-wheelers. The drive, which seems to be prompted by a number of posts against teenage biking on Facebook, will start from August 19. The men in uniform will impose fines as high as Rs 500 and more on parents if their minor wards are caught biking.
“Bikers without helmets are usually slapped a fine of around Rs 150. Those who carry helmets, but don’t wear them are let off with a warning. But from Monday, we will increase the fines for schoolchildren, who are not supposed to ride two-wheelers at all. Many of these youngsters throw caution to the wind, riding without helmets and carrying more than one pillion rider,” traffic SP Rajiv Ranjan Singh told The Telegraph.
Asked what prompted them to take the strict stand, the SP pointed out that young people often paid the fines, which is usually nominal, from their pocket money without their parents even coming to know about it.
“The idea is to summon their parents and ask them to pay up so that they know what their children are up to. We hope that this will also teach them a lesson and the next time they will not allow the teens, who have not attained the age of 16, to ride a two-wheeler,” the SP said.
The traffic department’s Facebook page, Traffic Police Ranchi, recently witnessed a number of complaints regarding teenage biking.
On August 5, one Ajay Jha wrote: “Despite repeated warnings, appeals and written notices, students in DAV Gandhinagar, kanke road aged 14,15,16 are coming to schools on BIKES. Sustained early morning checking and stringent action is the need of the hour. If need be, parents must also be informed and taken to task.”
Similar posts by Facebookers like Chandan Kumar, Alpesh Kumar and Sunil Kumar helped draw the traffic top brass’s attention.
The move has been welcomed by the heads of schools.
Sanjay Kumar, principal of DAV-Gandhinagar, blamed the parents. “We issued notices to parents several times, spoke to them during meetings and also scolded some children for coming to schools by two-wheelers and not obeying traffic rules. However, none has taken these warnings seriously,” he said.
Neeta Pandey, principal of Cambrian Public School, agreed. “We have prohibited our students from riding two-wheelers. However, we cannot take action against those who come riding on bikes, but park the two-wheelers elsewhere. If traffic police have plans to crack down on them, I heartily welcome the decision.”
Some parents also appreciated the traffic police’s new plans. Rajesh Kumar, whose son studies in DAV Public School-Bariatu, said, “Only parents like me know how difficult it is to make a child understand when he or she picks up an argument, citing examples of how their friends’ parents allow them to ride bikes. If police starts such a drive against schoolchildren, some parents will learn a lesson,” he said.
Will the new move of traffic police curb teen biking?