Students manage traffic at an intersection in Alipurduar. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
TT, Alipurduar, July 20: Five school boys, aged around 17 years, have been managing traffic at two main intersections of the town for a couple of months in an attempt to generate awareness of road safety rules.
The Class XII students of Alipurduar Mc William High School man the signals for around two hours everyday in between their school and tuition classes and warn errant drivers and bikers. Everyday after school, the five humanities students can be found at College Halt or Madhob More, the two important crossings in town, on Buxa Feeder Road, the main road in Alipurduar.
Avijit Deb, who first came up with the idea, said reckless driving and frequent accidents made him take the decision. “We used to see accidents mostly due to reckless driving of two-wheelers. We have seen several people getting injured. We ourselves have taken injured people to Alipurduar hospital after accidents. We thought we could make people aware of traffic rules and request them to drive vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, at a minimum speed.”
Avijit is a resident of Alipurduar town. His father is a forest officer and Avijit wants to join administrative services.
“Around three months ago, on the way to school, we saw a motorcycle travelling on the wrong side of the road. It hit an elderly man who was riding a bicycle and coming out of a small lane. The biker fell on an iron fence that is used as the divider and suffered serious injuries. The elderly man suffered a head injury. Both had to be taken to the hospital.”
Avjit spoke to his classmates Anupam Saha, Purondeep Saha, Nayonjyoti Mahato and Pranjol Biswas and they all met their head teacher Sudhangshu Biswas with their plan.
“Around two months ago, these boys came to me and told me that they are worried about the frequent road accidents in town. They expressed their desire to man the traffic points and make people aware of traffic rules. I contacted Avaru Rabindranath, the Alipurduar SP, and told him about the students’ idea. He sent an officer to train the boys in traffic rules . I told the boys what they were doing was noble but they should not miss a single class in school. The boys agreed and started working,” Biswas said.
He added that all five boys were good students and scored well in their exams.
The boy’s got a day-long training session conducted by sub-inspector, traffic, Dibakar Ghosh, on the school premises.
Alpurduar police chief Avijit Deb said reckless driving and many accidents made him take the decision,a student said, “We used to see accidents mostly due to reckless driving of two-wheelers driver. We have seen several people suffering from injuries. We ourselves have taken injured people to Alipurduar hospital after accidents. We thought we could make people aware about the traffic rules and request people them to drive the vehicles, mostly the two-wheelers, at a minimum speed. People here do not obey any traffic rules and they actually do not know how to use a one-way lane.”
SP Alipurduar said, The head teacher of the school had told me that few students were worried about the frequent road accidents. They were interested to provide voluntary service. Then I sent an police officer to train them in the school about traffic rules and how traffic can be controlled at the signal points. Sources said the boys man the roads like traffic policemen, stopping and clearing congestion.
Another said, ” people in the town are very much careless about the traffic rules and they do not care at all to follow the rules. A few people ask us whether we have any police permission or not.In a number of occasions it happened that the rider of the two wheeler challenged us. They do not obey traffic signal properly. Recently after police have become active regarding traffic rules,people have become little bit conscious. It is simply disgusting because the rider of the two wheeler should wear the helmet for the sake of his own life which people do not understand. This is shame that people here are being forced to wear helmets,” Anupan said.