List of vehicles engaged by schools prepared

The accident that occurred on Friday at Pullepady, where an autorickshaw carrying schoolchildren skidded off the road and fell into a canal, has brought back the debate on safety of vehicles ferrying children to schools.

The State government had amended the Motor Vehicle Act to impose strict restrictions on issuing permits to school vehicles. “In accordance with this rule (section 153 D of MV Act), we have prepared a list of all the vehicles operated and engaged by schools in the city. The condition of all these vehicles have been checked to ensure the safety of children being carried in them,” said V.H. Mohammed Rafique, Assistant Commissioner of Police, City Traffic (West). However, the police do not have statistics on the number of private vehicles ferrying children to schools. Though the City Traffic Police launched a drive to track erring autorickshaw drivers, not much progress has been made.

The drive to distribute identity cards to autorickshaw drivers operating within the city has run out of steam. The Regional Transport Office had started the drive to check the status of existing permits. Senior police officials said parents objected to strict implementation of the rules, claiming that it would disrupt ferrying services.

“If we get genuine complaints, we can initiate action against autorickshaw drivers and even get their permits cancelled,” said K.S. Baby Vinod, Assistant Commissioner, City Traffic (East). The police said many passengers agreed to pay the exorbitant fare charged by autorickshaw drivers. Without the active support of the public, the drive against erring autorickshaw drivers was bound to fail, the police said.

The Motor Vehicles’ Department has intensified efforts to keep tabs on vehicles ferrying children to school.

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