Taking a serious view of the accident in which four students travelling on the footboard of a bus died on Rajiv Gandhi Salai at Kandanchavadi here on Monday, the Madras High Court has directed the Advocate-General (AG) to seek instructions regarding the safety measures the government plans to take to avoid recurrence of such tragedies.

The students were caught between the bus on route number 519 and a lorry near the Srinivasa Nagar Seventh Main Road. Manoj Kumar, Sekar Settu, Balamurugan and Vijayan died.

On Tuesday, Chief Justice M.Y.Eqbal, who was in Madurai, and Justice K.N.Basha, who constituted a Division Bench, took suo motu cognisance of the accident.

It also directed the Additional Advocate-General (AAG) to get instructions from the district administration regarding overcrowding of buses in Madurai and students travelling dangerously in them.

Citing newspaper reports, the Bench said that at least one person died every ten days in Chennai while travelling on footboard of overcrowded buses or when boarding or alighting from moving buses.

The Bench said the grievance of the public was that because of lack of adequate number of buses, students had no option but to travel on footboard.

It had been reported that normally every bus was overcrowded and carried more than 50 passengers.

As per the Motor Vehicle Rules and regulations, buses should not have more passengers than the seating and standing capacity.

The Bench said, “It is high time the Motor Vehicle Rules are strictly implemented to secure the safety of the lives of the persons travelling in buses.”

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