MVD initiative to ensure safety of schoolchildren

As another academic year is in the offing, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has stepped in to ensure safety of children being transported to educational institutions.

The department had found that educating drivers of Educational Institution Buses (EIB) and honing their skills are the best ways to prevent accidents.

On Wednesday, the MVD, in association with the Road Safety Authority organised a one-day training programme for EIB drivers in Thiruvananthapuram. The mechanical aspects of vehicles, road signs, regulations, road markings, and road safety issues like over speeding and overtaking were discussed at the session held at Priyadarshini Hall.

Though experienced, the participants showed no reluctance when former Assistant Transport Commissioner P.N. Raj asked them to show the hand signal for turning left, right, and overtaking. Queries posed to them on road safety and new features such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) by Mr. Raj evoked prompt response from the participants.

Since they handled EIBs, the drivers were told not to exceed the speed limit of 40 km per hour and to see that the mandatory speed governor was installed. The drivers were asked to be polite and to take extra care while stopping and starting at the designated stops.

Violation of rules

The onus was not on drivers alone. Many institutions, including professional colleges, still crammed as many students as possible in their vehicles in violation of motor vehicle rules. The inability of school managements to use adequate number of vehicles forced many to depend on private vehicles, an MVD officer said.

As per rules, two children below 13 years can be accommodated on a seat. Thus, vehicles transporting children can accommodate double the allowed capacity. MVD officers said even reputed schools misused this provision.

Over 70 drivers from various educational institutions participated in the programme. They were given a handbook on ‘Driver's training' prepared by the MVD in association with the Road Safety Authority and a certificate that they had undergone the training.