Stringemt traffic regulations imposed by the Chandigarh Administration dont seem to apply to the students of the city. Most of them are minors,and dont possess a licence,but they can be seen driving to school in cars and bikes every day. The blatant violation of traffic rules seems to have no effect on the authorities. More surprising is the fact that schools are allowing this to happen. They are,in fact,encouraging the practice by opening their parking lots to such vehicles.
Pay a visit to these schools and you can see how the minors make a mockery of the traffic rules. Triple riding and driving without helmet are a commonplace here. With the traffic police turning a blind eye,the menace is increasing at an alarming rate.
Many students bring their own vehicles to school. There are some who even bring cars with tinted windows, says a student of DAV School,Sector 15.
Vice-Principal of the school,Hardesh Verma,however,denies the charge that they allow students to park their vehicles inside. She says students keep their vehicles outside and that the school authorities cannot do anything to prevent that. She puts the onus on the traffic police,saying: There are traffic policemen deployed outside the school.
According to J S Cheema,DSP (Traffic),however,no policeman has been deployed outside the school. We do issue challans to students for driving without licence,though, he hastens to add.
The principal of St Josephs School,Sector 44,Rupinder Singh Grewal,too says: No student can bring bike or car inside the school. As a result,the students park their vehicles outside. In most cases where schools dont allow parking,students can be seen using the adjacent parking lots of a nearby market,thereby adding to the chaos.
The issue of underage driving has come up in the meetings of the Central Advisory Traffic Committee a number of times and the committee had earlier decided to earmark traffic marshals and wardens outside each school to curb the menace. With the proposal still on paper,the nuisance continues unabated.
The traffic police blame the situation on the shortage of staff and the growing number of traffic junctions and vehicles. Pleading anonymity,an officer says it is not possible to man all the schools and provide effective services in such a scenario.