Traffic police to rope in school staff to ease snarls

 URL: www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Traffic-police-to-rope-in-school-staf...

Traffic police to rope in school staff to ease snarls

Cops, school security and teachers will manage movement of buses and cars during drop and pick-up hours.The Mumbai traffic police plan to involve the staff of schools in efforts to ease congestion outside their campuses during student drop and pick-up hours.The efforts are particularly aimed at preventing snarl-ups outside schools that are located on the city's major roads and intersections.

Haphazard parking of school buses and cars during drop and pick-up, especially in the afternoon and evening, is one of the main reasons for traffic jams on these roads. Traffic cops avoid ordering bus drivers and parents to park their vehicles away from the premises as that would put children's safety at risk.

By entrusting school staff with managing buses and parents' cars around their respective campuses, the traffic police hope to ease congestion on the roads without compromising the safety of children.

Joint Commissioner (traffic) B K Upadhyay, who drew up the plan, said that he had asked every traffic division in the city to form a coordination team with schools in their areas.

The teams would comprise traffic cops and school employees, including teachers, who will be given basic traffic management training.

"Traffic management outside schools is not a problem early in the morning as there are fewer vehicles on roads. But it's a big headache in the afternoon and evening," he said.

"When buses and private vehicles line up on roadsides outside schools to drop or pick up students, it has a major knock-on effect on passing traffic."

Upadhyay, who took charge of the traffic department recently, said that he had identified spots across that city that cause the most traffic jams. Areas outside schools were among them.

"We don't want to simply penalise school buses and private cars from parking around campuses as it's a question of children's safety. We think schools can play a crucial part here by persuading parents and bus operators to maintain traffic discipline while dropping off or picking up students," he said.

The traffic department will ask schools to deploy some teachers and clerical staff apart from security outside their premises during opening and closing hours to manage traffic. Traffic police officers will also be present there.

"We will teach them basic traffic management techniques," Upadhyay said. "Schools will also be asked to organise meetings with parents and bus drivers and give them a set of directions for parking their vehicles."

Upadhyay had successfully implemented similar measures in Nagpur when he was the deputy police commissioner (traffic) there. "When the school management takes an initiative, parents usually cooperate," he said. "We could attempt a tougher tactic, imposing fines on parties concerned, but the move would not yield results in the long run."

Another senior traffic official said that buses and private cars occupy an area of nearly 500 metres outside schools during drop and pick-up hours. "At many places, they turn one-lane parking into a three-lane one, obstructing passing vehicles," he said. "Schools usually say it's our headache, but with the latest drive, they will have to take more responsibility."

Sanjay Gupta, a member of a parents teachers association of Juhu's Jamnabai Narsee School, said that schools had a moral and social responsibility to ensure order outside its campuses. "The lanes leading to Jamnabai are narrow, so traffic jams were common there. PTA members then joined the traffic police and ensured that no chauffeur or bus driver parked his vehicle in the lanes before the official pick-up time," he said.

"The school administration also appointed teachers and guards to ensure there was parking discipline.

 WHY IS THERE CHAOS OUTSIDE SCHOOLS?

 ♦ Buses, private cars line up during student drop and pick-up hours, holding up passing traffic.

 ♦ Near many schools, drivers create an illegal three-lane parking zone.

 ♦ The problem is particularly severe on major roads, intersections.

 ♦ Students of different classes are allowed to board their transport at the same time.

Date of Article: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Source: 
Mumbai Mirror