Tribune News Service
Bathinda, February 17
After the Sangrur incident, the city police and the traffic police launched a special drive to check violation of traffic norms by vehicles ferrying schoolchildren. The officials challaned 104 school vehicles and impounded seven school vans.
According to the information given by the police, a total of 595 school vans and buses were checked by the authorities in the district. The maximum of 80 vehicles were checked by the Bathinda Sadar police while no school vehicle was checked in the Kotwali, Civil Lines, Phul and Rampura Sadar areas in the district.
Two days ago, the traffic police issued challans to 25 vans and mini-buses of a convent school for violating traffic rules. The action was taken after parents of students and city-based NGOs expressed concern over the safety of children and lodged complaint.
Buses and vans ferrying schoolchildren in the district continue to flout the state government’s guidelines. There are more than 50 private schools in the city, of which only a few have their vans while students of all other private schools are at the mercy of private bus operators.
The most glaring of the lapses are the absence of female attendants in vans ferrying girl students, absence of CCTV cameras in school vans and the practice of not creating backup of CCTV cameras. Drivers and conductors don’t obtain police clearance and medical fitness certificates. None of the vans have GPS, which is a violation of the norms. When the vehicles are checked by members of the Safe School Vahan Committees, owners are left off the hook after issuing fine and a warning.
To add to the problem, private schools maintain that since they do not offer any mode of conveyance to students, the responsibility of ensuring their safe travel was that of the parents.
As per the Safe School Vahan Policy, it is mandatory for drivers and conductors of school vans and buses to wear uniform and name badges at the time of ferrying the children.
Drive to continue, says DC
- Deputy Commissioner B Srinivasan on Monday said the district administration was adopting zero tolerance policy on the use of old buses or vans to ply schoolchildren. He said the Transport Department on Monday checked 210 vehicles, out of which 48 vehicles were challaned and nine vehicles, which were in a bad condition, were impounded
- Udayveer Singh, RTA, said apart from issuing challans to the school vans or buses, the department was also issuing challans for playing vulgar songs in buses. Singh said the buses were being checked on a regular basis and around a dozen buses had been issued in the past two to three days. He said the ongoing drive would continue in the coming days
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