Face To Face with..

Ashish Gajurel, Traffic Engineer

In Holland traffic lessons are taught in primary school and the first years of secondary school.

Ashish Gajurel is a postgraduate in MSc in transportation engineering from Germany.He is currently working as aTraffic Consultant.

Ashish Gajurel, Transportation Engineer (specialized in Traffic Engineering) has initiated Traffic Safety Awareness Campaign 2012 targeting school students. On 13th May 2012 he held a Campaign demonstrating basic traffic safety measures at Shankhamul-based Gyan Niketan Higher Secondary School.

Gajurel, who is a postgraduate in MSc in transportation engineering from Germany and currently working as Transport & Traffic Consultant and Lecturer, made a presentation on pedestrian safety, zebra crossings, overhead bridges, traffic lights and use of footpaths to hundreds of students. We took the opportunity to elaborate on his Safety Campaign from Mr. Gajurel himself.

Educatenepal: How do you interpret the Kathmandu’s Traffic System?
Gajurel: We are really struggling with traffic management and need huge improvements. Kathmandu’s Traffic System is mainly operated and controlled by Traffic Police manually. We are in the primitive phase which necessitates a shift to a technology oriented system.

Educatenepal: Do you mean to say that Traffic Police effort cannot manage our Traffic?
Gajurel: I really appreciate the effort of Traffic Police. They are working very hard to ensure free and safe traffic flow. They have been giving their best. But the numbers of vehicles are increasing day by day now they need to be equipped with state-of-art technology. The manual operated system is needed to be shifted to technology based. We need to capitalize on what technology has to offer to ensure better traffic management.

Educatenepal: How do you come to the idea of providing Traffic Education to the school children?
Gajurel: Such practices are common in developed countries. For instance, in Holland traffic lessons are taught in primary school and the first years of secondary school. In these lessons, children of 4-14 years old are taught traffic rules and the meaning of road signs to help them use this knowledge in practice.

If I suggest grown people to use footpaths, zebra crossings, and overhead bridges etc. there is less chance that they would follow but small children will follow my suggestions. This is because it is more difficult to change habitual behaviour but easier to inculcate new ones in kids and would ensure that such road safety behaviour after being inculcated would be difficult to change and would be followed and imparted further. These aspects have been already proved from researches. This idea has motivated me to carry Safety Campaign from Schools.

Educatenepal: How do you conduct the Traffic Safety class?

Gajurel: Actually, I present the Traffic Statistics (death numbers, injured numbers) worldwide and in Nepal. I present the Safety conditions in Nepal and Safety measures. I make use of pictures and explain them. I am also working to develop a short film on traffic safety. I would actually like to take students to the streets and demonstrate safety measures on site. I am working for it. Soon, I will do it. I motivate students to be interactive and ask questions and I also ask them questions during presentation to ensure that they understand what I am trying to present them.

Educatenepal: Are you sponsored for it from some organization?
Gajurel: I am supported by CIM – GIZ (German Cooperation) and would like to thank them for their extensive support.

Educatenepal: Do you intend to carry this campaign in future too?
Gajurel: I will carry these activities and want to cover all schools of the valley. Looking at the death rates of road accidents in Nepal, it is very necessary. According to Police datas, 6-7 people are killed in road accidents on average everyday and such data evinces the huge need of such campaign.

Educatenepal: How do you select schools? How can schools contact you, please clarify the procedures to invite you to schools?
Gajurel: I have no priority on schools. Any school can invite me and I would be ready for this. I do not derive any financial benefit from such campaigns. Interested school can contact me at gajurelashish@gmail.com. We can then find one suitable date and conduct the traffic education workshop.

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