In an attempt to safeguard students from road accidents, the Directorate of School Education has asked schools to ban students from coming to educational institutions on their own two-wheelers. The move follows the occurrence of accidents involving students in the State.
Director of School Education V C Rameswara Murugan, in his circular to all school principals, asked them to sensitise students and their parents to the need to avoid travelling on footboards of buses and avoid travelling to school in their own vehicles. He has also asked the schools and Chief Educational Officers to ensure that guidelines are followed strictly.
“The move is in the right direction. Children cannot control powerful motorcycles. Some find racing at high speed thrilling. With this rule we can hopefully reduce accidents on two wheelers,” said Rajumani, a parent. Welcoming the move Geetha Gopinath, principal, SBOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School said that many schools were already following it. “Teachers already monitor our students. Many times we have seized two-wheelers of students and kept them in school until parents come to ensure that they did not ride the bike. It is good that a direction has come from the higher levels,” she said.
But students who presently ride two-wheelers are not happy. Though the move ensures their safety they say reasonable restrictions will serve the purpose instead of a total ban.
“One should understand the hectic schedule we have on working days. By 5 am we have to reach tuition classes and then head to school by 8.30 am. In the evenings we have to visit friends to collect notes or again head to tuition classes. We use helmets and don’t go beyond the 30-km speed limit.” said Praveeth, a Plus Two student.
But Gowrishankar, another student, said students might misuse two wheelers at times. “I am riding a battery charged two-wheeler. Though it is helpful some misuse two wheelers at times. Many go for outings and many of my friends are obsessed with high speed,” he said.
Some parents have bought new bicycles for their children to ensure safety. Senthil who is a driver at a leading school in the city, said his son went to school earlier on a bike but it was replaced by a bicycle recently. “Being a driver I know how difficult it is to ride on the road. My utmost priority is his safety and I imposed a cycle on him against his wish,” he said.
Many parents are of the belief that the fault lies with the law enforcement agencies. Monitoring mechanisms have no impact on students since no one fears the officials.
But officials from Road Transport and City Police counter this view. “Regular monitoring of violation of rules is done by the department. To an extent parents are responsible for these accidents without whose consent students wouldn’t have had access to bikes,” they said.