Updated: January 19, 2021 7:56:41 am
TO CHECK traffic violations and increasing number of accidents, the PMC is set to open a traffic park designed exclusively for children, who will help the civic body raise awareness on traffic rules and road safety.
Dinkar Gojare, executive engineer of the PMC, said the “first-of-its-kind” traffic park is aimed at educating children aged below 12 on traffic rules and road safety measures.
“Children have a good grasping power. Such initiatives have worked well in many foreign countries. They not only follow traffic rules but also make their parents follow them and point it out when parents violate traffic rules,” he said.
The project, based on the Urban95 concept of the Bernard van Leer Foundation of the Netherlands, has been developed by the PMC. The civic body has signed a pact MoU with the foundation to develop child friendly infrastructure in the city.
Under the project, a street model, measuring 160 metres in length and 4 metres in width, has been created with all features on city roads, including miniature-size traffic signals, signage, crossing, speed breakers, footpaths and cycle tracks among others.
The PMC will provide traffic lessons through short films in a bus at the park. “Children visiting the traffic park would be first made to watch the short film on traffic rules and safety. Also, there would be trainers at the park to give practical lessons to children. There would be 28 bicycles in the park and the children would use them along with helmets to travel on the road model while following traffic rules by identifying signage and traffic signals,” Gojare said, adding that this will instill the importance of following traffic rules.
He also said in India, those turning 18 were informed about traffic rules while being issued a driver’s licence and there was not much awareness at the school level. “There is lot of negligence in following traffic rules. There are a lot of deaths or serious injuries due to accidents on city roads,” Gojare said, adding around 1,000 fatal accidents took place in PMC and PCMC areas every year.
If traffic rules were followed, then the number of road accidents would come down, he said, adding that the traffic park will come up at Bremen Chowk in Aundh.
The first phase of work on the park has been completed at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore, and it will be inaugurated in the next few days. Civic representatives visited 11 schools in the vicinity of the project and noticed that school managements were keen on training children and organising study tours for students at the park.
The second phase of the project will include installing toys to teach traffic rules to children while promoting the walk, bus and cycle as healthy and environment-friendly options among children.
The PMC has also put up copies of famous paintings on traffic awareness by noted artist Mangesh Tendulkar. “The traffic police has urged the PMC to take up similar projects in their premises on Nagar Road so that more children can be educated through such initiatives,” Gojare added.
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