A student of Delhi Public School gifts a rose and hands over a note on road safety to a helmet-less biker, while his schoolmates look on, during the drive near the entrance of Jubilee Park on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
When policing fails, bring out children and roses.
After failing to rein in traffic scofflaws by fining them for their violations, East Singhbhum traffic police resorted to Gandhigiri on Friday.
Policemen asked their ambassadors — over 100 students of Delhi Public School aged below six — to request bikers to wear helmets and drivers to put on their seat belts. Then, each child handed the commuter concerned a red rose.
A first-of-its-kind initiative in the steel city, the exercise was carried out near the two gates of Jubilee Park.
Starting at 10.30am, the drive continued for two hours during which students from Turiabera-based Delhi Public School were accompanied by traffic constables. Children from LKG, UKG and Class I were armed with roses, placards and smiles.
While the constables caught the violators, particularly helmet-less riders and drivers without seat belts, the students handed them roses and requested them to wear helmets and follow traffic rules for their own safety.
“Uncle, helmet peheniye, ghar mein aapke bachche apka wait kar rahen hain. Road pe accident se bachiye (Uncle, use helmets, your children are waiting for you at home, save yourself from road accidents),” was first grader Sandip Mohan’s humble request to a helmet-less biker.
Deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha, who had taken the initiative to hold talks with authorities of Delhi Public School for this drive, sounded confident about its success.
“Children soften the hearts of the offenders with their smile and innocent requests. I am confident that people would realise their mistakes and also remember the importance of road safety,” Sinha added. The drive, he added, was a win-win situation for the police.
It not only spreads the good word about road safety, but roping in students also means these children learn about traffic rules from a tender age and grew up to be more responsible citizen.
This campaign will continue along with the usual spot fines and prosecution of traffic violators.
“We will hold such drives randomly on important thoroughfares with the help of volunteers, while the regular checking and spot fines would also continue,” Sinha added.
Sinha has also written to the different SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) Clubs, which inculcates road safety values among students, requesting more such volunteers below six years for the safety drive.
Notably, the steel city had collected the highest traffic penalty across the state last year. The monthly collection was around Rs 9 lakh.