Over 3,700 vehicles, majority of them mini-buses, ferrying students to schools were challaned in the national capital this year for various traffic violations.
According to Delhi Police statistics, only one accident involving a school bus took place in the capital this year in which one student was injured as against 39 last year.
A total of 3,772 vehicles carrying children to schools were prosecuted in the city this year which includes 3,561 mini-buses for bending traffic rules as well as violating Supreme Court guidelines regarding operating school buses.
While 188 buses were challaned for traffic violations prescribed in the Motor Vehicles Act, a whopping 3,228 mini-buses were prosecuted for the same reasons.
The figures for challaning for violating Supreme Court guidelines are 33 buses and 333 mini-buses.
The Supreme Court guidelines include the inscription of ‘School Bus’ on the front and back of the bus and ‘On School Duty’ inscription should be there if it is a hired one.
Other mandatory instructions are that the windows of bus must be fitted with horizontal grills, there must be a fire extinguisher in the bus and the school name and telephone number must be written on the bus.
To keep school bags safely, there should be a space fitted under the seats and the presence of an attendant from the school in the bus is a must.
According to statistics, one driver was arrested this year for his involvement in an accident this year while the figure for last year was eight. In 2008, the figure was three and in 2007 it was six.
On the prosecution statistics, 22,409 buses and mini-buses were prosecuted last year which included 20,553. In 2008, the total was 22,940 which included 20,905 mini-buses.
“We give paramount importance to the safety of passengers. So whenever we find there is some violation, we take action,” a senior police official said.
Asked about the large number of prosecution of mini-buses, he said that majority of school buses were such buses. “There is nothing unusual in it as majority of such vehicles are mini-buses,” the official said.
While three students were killed and 40 injured in accidents involving school buses in 2007, the official said, there were fortunately no deaths in 2008, 2009 and this year so far.
Three students were injured in 2008 while 39 suffered injuries in accidents last year, he added.