Colva: Higher secondary students, especially those in the 15-17 year age group, continue to commute to school on their two-wheelers in spite of the education department passing a circular barring the practice barely a month ago.
With the number of motor vehicle accidents constantly on the rise, the department had issued a circular urging headmasters and principals to educate parents about following traffic rules, especially while dropping or picking their children to and from school. The department even went a step further and instructed the heads to discourage students from riding to school by refusing to let them park their two-wheelers on campus.
Director of education G P Bhat, said, “An alarming number of students either lose their lives or get injured in accidents every year. Hence, we issued the circular upon the recommendation of the Panaji traffic cell.”
A higher secondary school principal, who did not wish to be named, said the suggestions of the circular could be enforced only if students rode inside the institution premises. “But they park in public spaces and walk the short distance to the campus,” the principal said.
DySP Praboth Shirwaikar said during the recently concluded Traffic Safety Week, he lectured students about the ills of riding without valid licences. “This is the age when students feel they are invincible and inadvertently tend to ride fast, putting their lives and the lives of others at risk,” he said.
DySP Dharmesh Angle said earlier there was a provision in licensing rules wherein a person above 16 years of age but below 18 years could get a licence for two-wheelers upto 50cc, with their parents’ written consent. But, this provision has been done away with for over a year now. “This means those studying in classes X-XII are riding without valid licences, which, besides being illegal, is detrimental to their own safety.”
“We have to allow our children to ride bikes, because commuting from school to home, tuitions and other extra-curricular activites is next to impossible given the poor public transport system,” a parent said.
This article was first published on Times of India on 20th Sept 2017