Nearly 30% of children have witnessed road crash on way to school: Survey
Nearly 30 per cent of children have witnessed a road crash during their travel to school, while 6 per cent of them were involved in such accidents, a survey showed.
The survey was conducted by SaveLIFE Foundation in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) with the intent of gathering insights across age-groups and geographies to inform how to improve the road safety of children while they commute to school.
The survey, conducted after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, analyses responses from 11,845 respondents, including 5,711 children (of classes 6-12) and 6,134 parents (with children in classes 1-12) across 14 cities in India.
Also check these Vehicles
It also showed that more than half of the parents surveyed stated that school authorities took no action on the safety concerns reported to them. These issues included overcrowding in school vehicles, congestion near the school, and over-speeding by drivers in the school zone, it said.
"Overall, school bus was reported by the highest proportion of respondents as the mode of commute (33 per cent of children), followed by school van (12 per cent)," the survey said. The cities surveyed include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Pune, and Vijayawada.
Nearly 47 per cent of the respondents reported that their vehicles did not have seat belts. Bengaluru (78 per cent ) and Lucknow (66 per cent) had higher proportion of school vehicles equipped with seat belts. Only 13 per cent of the respondents in Vijayawada, and 28 per cent of the respondents in Kolkata reported that their vehicles were equipped with seat belts, it said.
The survey also highlighted gaps in the safety standards of school zones. Nearly 47 per cent of the surveyed respondents whose child/who cycled to school reported no cycling paths en route or even around the school. Around 30 per cent of those whose child/who walked to school reported missing footpaths around the school zone.
The survey highlighted that adherence to guidelines among private transport users is lower than school-provided transport.
India is home to over 500 million children under the age of 18 years. Road crashes are the leading cause of deaths and unintentional injuries amongst children, making them one of the most high-risk vulnerable sections of the population on Indian roads.