SaveLife Foundation undertakes pilot in Bangalore to make school zones safer

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 09 Mar 2022

The 3 major interventions include - reclaiming plaza and drop-off bay; upgradation of intersections by adding safe crossings, traffic management, painting of walking zones meant for pedestrians.

SaveLife Foundation has launched a Tactical Urbanism trial at Peniel School, Bangalore as part of its efforts to reduce the number of road crash deaths near schools and make those spaces a safe zone for all road users, especially children. The trial is testing a safer redesigned version of the school zone.

Tactical Urbanism (TU) trials are temporary, quick and relatively low-cost interventions, which test out urban design, and infrastructural changes for improving road safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable –pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised transport users.

At Peniel School Zone, while the primary focus is to promote safety for children and create distinct demarcation for the various user groups, the trials also aim to educate students and all other road users and promote passive learning of road safety and change behaviour through design.

The total length of the selected network which was redesigned is around 1km, and in total 3 major interventions have been conducted - reclaiming plaza and the drop-off bay in front of the school along with demarcation of auto stands, upgradation of intersections by adding safe crossings, traffic management through cones and the painting of walking zones meant exclusively for pedestrians, mainly children. 

M A Mohamed, KR Pura Traffic Police Inspector said, “On an average more than 160,000 people are dying in road accidents every year, so these measures are extremely essential for preventing road crashes. Such interventions help us in regulating traffic and in ensuring the safety of both school children and the public. We have to give children a clear-cut idea of how the traffic system works, how accidents happen and what road safety measures to adopt for avoiding them. Similarly, for the students who walk to school, it has to be ensured that proper footpaths and railings are in place.”

Karuna Raina, director, Public Policy, SaveLIFE Foundation said, “Right to safe access to educational institutions is an integral part of the Right to Education. Even UNICEF has recognised that ‘Safe Journeys to School are a child’s right’. Through these interventions we have managed to reduce the risk exposure distance and risk exposure time for children by about 45 percent and 35 percent respectively. The aim of this project is to provide a template to city governments, urban bodies and other road owning stakeholders to make commuting to school safe for children across India.”

Varalakshmi K, principal, Peniel School said, “This is very useful for the students as in recent times there have been many crashes involving young children. Through such initiatives and programs, they gain awareness, and the school zone becomes safer for them. Earlier, it was very inconvenient for students to cross this road and walk to the school, but with the intervention things have become better and we are very thankful. Road safety is a very important issue and considering the dangerous conditions they encounter, we are very concerned on a daily basis, till our students reach home safely. Children need a safer environment, and such positive interventions make us feel better about their safety.”

According to a National survey conducted by SaveLIFE Foundation in 14 cities, over one-third of respondents in Bangalore reported inadequate school zone infrastructure including lack of cycling paths at the school zone and lack of continuous footpaths for children that walk to school. SLF collaborated with Bangalore-based Jana Urban Spaces Foundation to undertake the redesign.

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