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Police moot staggered timings for schools


It will substantially reduce congestion on roads and ensure safety of students, reports R. Rajaram


— PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM

SAFE PASSAGE: A police constable regulating traffic to enable students cross the road without any difficulty at Melapudur in Tiruchi on Friday.

With the twin objectives of easing congestion in front of schools, especially during peak hours in the mornings and evenings, and ensuring safety of students, the Tiruchi police have advocated staggered timings for schools.

The suggestion was put forth by the police authorities during a meeting they had with the representatives of several city schools on Thursday. Majority of the representatives were from the cluster of educational institutions located in Melapudur that witnesses hectic movement of students coming by school buses, autorickshaws, cars, two-wheelers and cycles in the morning and evening hours.

Various points connected with easing traffic congestion, safety of students and utilising Road Safety Patrols for regulating traffic were discussed during the hour-long meeting convened by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) Rupesh Kumar Meena.

Police authorities say the number of students studying in institutions in Melapudur area alone surpasses 8,000. The advantage of staggered timing among schools with a difference of half-an-hour, instead of a near uniform timing that is in vogue at present, and the long-term benefit this initiative would bring forth in better regulation of traffic and easing congestion in Melapudur during the morning peak hour were emphasised. The option of choosing the timing was left to the schools.

From the police point of view, a staggered timing would substantially reduce congestion on roads besides ensuring safety of students. Another suggestion was that schools with ample space could allow vehicles inside the institutions to drop students and take them back in the evening, to prevent traffic blockade in front of their respective entry/exit points. Utilisation of the services of students enrolled in Road Safety Patrol, and school security staff for regulation of traffic in front of their respective schools were yet another suggestion put forward during the meeting.

The participants who attended the meeting were asked to convey the suggestions to their respective heads of institutions for active consideration in order to jointly address the problem of congestion, which has turned out to be a regular phenomenon in school zones notwithstanding deployment of police personnel, say police authorities.

Similar meetings would be convened with representatives of schools located in other areas in the city after obtaining feedback of the latest meeting, the Deputy Commissioner said. The city police have plans to conduct programmes for school students on traffic education, to usher in road safety culture among the future generation.

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