PUNE: Schools and junior colleges in the city might be spreading awareness about traffic rules and road safety to discourage students from riding two-wheelers, but underage driving continues unabated.
Several citizens said the sight of students in school or junior college uniform riding two-wheelers was common across the city. Junior colleges are also a part of many schools.
Businessman Devendra Mehta said hundreds of two-wheelers parked outside school and junior college campuses were a clear indication that the students were riding two-wheelers without licences.
Principals of junior colleges admitted to the fact that many students rode two-wheelers in violation of the traffic rules.
Ravindrasinh Pardeshi, principal of Fergusson College, said, “After the admissions for Standard XI are through, we address the new batch of students at the beginning of the academic year. We advise them to use bicycles to commute, as using two-wheelers at their age is illegal. Also, bicycles are better for the environment. We do try to spread awareness, but it is difficult for us to cross-check how each student is commuting.”
Abasaheb Garware College principal PB Buchade said, “I believe that not many minor students of our college use two-wheelers to commute. But we do try to spread awareness about the underage driving. I remember having a conversation on this with some Pune traffic police officers in the past as well.”
While colleges were finding it difficult to track how their students were commuting, Teresa David, principal of Laxmanrao Apte Junior College, said that in many cases, the youngsters parked the two-wheelers outside the campus.
“Parking on our campus is not allowed. Many students park their vehicles outside, mostly in the nearby lanes and then walk to the campus. It is difficult to question each student walking in that how he or she reached the institute. If the students had tried to park on the campus, we could have done something about it,” she said.
David said the college authorities had informed parents and students that underage driving was illegal and students must refrain from using motorcycles.
“Many children have to travel for various coaching classes before and after college hours and parents find it convenient to provide their wards with a two-wheeler to commute. We have repeatedly told them that minors riding two-wheelers is illegal,” she said.Source: TOI