Crackdown on school vehicles violating safety laws
Following the policy, the district administration has banned use of autorickshaws and vans in ferrying schoolchildren from December 1. Adding to it, the RTO had also issued specific directives to all school authorities in Cuttack to install GPRS machines, speed governors in their school buses and follow all guidelines of the policy. But even after 20 days, many schools are yet to comply with the order.
During raids, special squads of RTO have so far identified 290 school buses, run by 30 different schools, which were plying violating the policy. RTO officials claimed that many buses were not equipped with GPRS, speed governors, door locking systems and emergency exits.
While some of the buses were too old and not fit to ferry schoolchileren, the RTO has issued showcause notice to the educational institutions.
“The schools have been given a deadline of 15 days to comply with the new guidelines. Action will be initiated against those who fail to comply with the order,” said RTO Dipty Ranjan Patra.
Transport officials said from December 31 the school buses violating the new guideline will not be allowed to ply.
“We will seize such buses and impose fine on school authorities,” said a transport official.
Along with crackdown on school buses, the RTO has also seized nine autorickhshaws and vans which were used in transporting children.
In the second phase, the RTO will verify the license and experience of the drivers engaged in driving school buses.
Under the new policy, the transportation of schoolchildren in vehicles that have a seating capacity of fewer than 13 has been completely banned in the city.
It has also been adviced that the school buses have a woman guard to accompany children.
Besides, it is mandatory for school buses to have an external colour of yellow and the words ‘school bus’ clearly painted on the front and rear top.
If any bus is hired, the regulations spell that it should have a sign that will read “on school duty”.