The city police have appealed to the authorities of St Xavier’s Collegiate School and Birla High School to let students in the senior section help them manage traffic outside their institutions when classes get over in the afternoon.
Apart from aiding the police in traffic management, the senior students can help juniors follow traffic norms while crossing over roads to board school buses and pool cars, the officers have said.
“When senior students tell their juniors about following traffic norms, the impact is more compared to when police officers do the same,” said a senior officer.
“By volunteering to manage traffic, the students will also pick up the ground rules of road safety in a better way than say, by organising talks on traffic. So it will be a win-win situation for us.”
To begin with, the police have zeroed in on some of the schools located on Short Street, Loudon Street, Hungerford Street, Moira Street, Rawdon Street and Camac Street.
Several schools dot these areas and a senior officer said managing traffic in this pocket in south Kolkata is a challenge, particularly when schools get over almost around the same time.
With little scope for immediately changing the road engineering and traffic flow pattern, senior officers said they have realised one of the most effective ways of driving home road safety rules and traffic etiquette is by engaging schoolchildren to implement them.
St Xavier’s Collegiate School said the police had recently approached them and the school would engage senior students to help the police.
“We have told the police that we will also organise a session in our school so students develop an awareness of key issues of road safety,” a school official said.
Birla High School said it already engages senior students in spreading traffic awareness such as a no-honking campaign.
Principal Loveleen Saigal said: “The police asked us if the students could tell those who are pillion riders to wear helmets and to request those driving to do so at a cautious speed. We have agreed to the proposal.”
According to the police plan, groups of seven-10 students will join the police teams outside their respective schools for half an hour four days a week.
Senior students will be engaged in specific roles, officers said. Some of these include.
- Telling parents on two-wheelers to wear helmets and ensure the pillion rider, too, has one
- Spreading awareness among juniors on how to cross a road or board school buses and pool cars.
- Joining the police on duty to drive home the fact that areas around schools are no-honking zones.