10 challans issued in drive against school buses, vans

10 challans issued in drive against school buses, vans

Cops check whether security measures have been taken by school vehicles in Amritsar on Monday.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 17

A day after four school children were charred to death in a school bus in Sangrur, the local administration conducted a drive to check if the school vans and autorickshaws were complying with the safety norms. The police challaned at least 10 school buses for various offences such as not having fire extinguishers, attendants and medical kits.

However, city residents raised a suspicion over the action. They said the administration resorted to such drives only after a mishap occurred. “The drive is a mere formality and it will not make anything significant to ensure safety of schoolchildren,” said Randeep Singh.

One often sees schoolchildren being in overcrowded auto-rickshaws lacking safety grills and old buses without number plates. The schools shun their responsibility by taking an undertaking from parents stating that the transportation of their child is their responsibility.

“Though the Safe School Vahan Scheme (SSVS) mandates availability of CCTV cameras, hydraulic doors, attendants and medical kits, among others things, in school vans but the administration has failed to implement the policy. It has also failed to check use of ramshackle buses,” said Kuljeet Singh Malawali, an advocate. He said the political parties needed school buses for political rallies, therefore did not act tough on them.

The SSVS also requires buses to have stop signal arm to indicate other motorists to stop when bus has stopped to pick or drop students, speed governors to limit the vehicle speed and retracting steps. The bus driver should have a minimum of five experience of driving a heavy vehicle.

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