One Indian school’s fun and multi-faceted approach to safer road use
SRDAV Public School started its journey in 2011-12 to sensitize the student community to safe road habits. Taking up this endeavour of developing an attitude of safety in students, teachers and members of the school community joined the campaign launched by the United Nations to commemorate the Decade of Road Safety 2011-2020. The school is now stepping into the 4th year of Your Ideas Your Initiatives. Participation in this challenge has enabled us to be a member of a global community, together addressing the challenges of avoiding risky behaviours to safe commuting.
The location of our school necessitates a plan for the safe circulation of 3,000 students. Efforts to find alternate paths from school to the school bus parking area were in vain. Since buses are parked on a road which allows movement of heavy vehicles, such as lorries and buses, it is imperative that students are sensitized to road safety norms and that risky behaviours such as jay walking, moving in groups while crossing the road, underage driving (below the age of 18) and driving without a helmet are discouraged. The school took the initiative of developing road safety habits in pupils starting in 2011-12.
In the last 4 years a number of methods have been adopted. The students have been engaged in fun-filled activities such as puppet shows, crossword puzzles on road signs, online games such as “buzzing roads”, a movie making activity and mobile app called TrafficLog; making our activities student driven. As stakeholders they develop a greater sense of responsibility. A movie, Bad Hair Day, was also screened in theatres for the public. The film focussed on a teenage habit of avoiding helmet use while driving. A questionnaire was designed for students as well as parents to identify risky behaviour on the road. In the community, students distributed pamphlets to follow road signs and traffic rules and to develop an environment for vigilant and safe citizens to build safe communities.
However, these efforts need to be practised regularly and further strengthened so that young students may become the mouth piece and the ambassadors of road safety.