Beware, 'little cops' are in action

They might be ‘little cops’ by size but they can get tough on sly rule breakers. These are the students of St Theresa’s School in Mangalore who are on full throttle with their ‘Road Safety Patrol’ (RSP), blowing their whistles hard and ‘filing complaints’ on the traffic rule violators.

The students from standard 5th to 10th enrolled in RSP are the people incharge of the traffic near their school junction at lower Bendoor in the peak morning hours. The patrol that started two years back has become a rave and more than 50 children have enrolled themselves in this team. The students guide traffic and vehicle parking and also assist the aged and children to cross the roads. “Parents are very supportive towards this initiative. It helps to instill traffic sense among students and helps them to become responsible citizens along with educating them,” opines School Principal Sr Premitha BS.

The students also take strict action and note down numbers of signal breakers and people who smoke while driving or who are on cell phones. They also file complaints and submit them to traffic policemen when vehicles are parked in no parking areas. “Many people obey when we guide the traffic. This initiative is very encouraging and helps us build confidence,” says Nishmitha Nidarsh, the captain of this patrol.

Starting RSP in St Theresa’s is the initiative of Cedric D’Souza, a PTA member. “I saw this system in Mumbai and thought it would be great if it was implemented in our two tier city which usually faces jams at peak hours. Hence, I proposed this plan in my son’s school and it was implemented immediately in co-ordination with traffic department,” he says informing that it is one of the first of its kind in the state.

The man who is behind the success of this patrol is the School’s Physical Education Teacher Joseph Rodrigues who guides these students and ensures the students are safe when they put on the traffic cop uniform. “Guiding traffic in peak hours is a risky job, but the students are careful and parents are also eager that the kid does this job.

This system helps them to develop leadership qualities. The traffic department is very supportive towards this initiative,” he adds. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Mangalore Circle Traffic Inspector Manjunath Shetty said that the students of St Theresa’s are doing a great job and the department too ensures that the enthusiasm of the kids does not die down. “We take their complaints seriously. More schools should come up with this initiative because it can shape children as responsible motorists in future,” Shetty adds.

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