In India, road safety is a major concern, responsible for 11% of global road accident fatalities despite hosting just 1% of the world’s vehicles. Annually, nearly 150,000 lives are lost, with an additional 300,000 individuals suffering severe injuries. Nearly 10% of these fatalities take place near unsafe school zones, underscoring road safety as a significant societal concern.
Over 80% of these accidents are caused by preventable human errors, such as overspeeding, neglecting helmets, and violating traffic rules, highlighting the need to foster a cultural shift towards a humanistic road safety culture.
In a proactive effort to tackle this issue, the IRF India-Chapter (IRF IC) has introduced the School Zone Safety Programme. The initiative aims to cultivate a culture of road safety in our society from an early age and make school zones safer.
Some of the activities being put in place by the Programme include:
- Advocating for the inclusion of a uniformed road safety syllabi in school curricula.
- Conducting safety audits of school zones based on IRC-32 standards, ranking them in a public portal for awareness, and simultaneously providing capacity-building through online training for conducting these audits.
- Collaborating with schools and local authorities to improve school zones through road markings, signage, pedestrian crossings, speed reduction measures, and footpaths.
- Promoting road safety awareness among children through creative activities, such as plays, quizzes, skits, drawing competitions, cartoons, and stories.
IRF-IC’s methodology equips schools with unique login IDs for comprehensive road safety zone information, improving safety standard enforcement. Schools are then ranked based on safety compliance through audits, utilising color coding for easy identification by parents and citizens. In its pilot phase, IRF India-Chapter has audited four schools in New Delhi, with a goal to audit over 15 lakh schools by 2025.
On its next phase, IRF IC is partnering with organizations like 3M India to implement identified corrections for safer school environments, aiming to alleviate parental concerns. Their commitment underscores the urgency of school zone safety improvements, prioritising secure and welcoming student spaces while emphasising the importance of safeguarding children’s well-being and future.
To learn more about the IRF IC School Zone Safety Programme visit their dedicated webpage or contact IRF India-Chapter at email@example.com.
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