K.K. Nagar RTO to start student committees in corporation schools and government colleges

The K.K. Nagar Regional Transport Office (RTO) has decided to start student committees in corporation schools and government colleges in the locality to check footboard travel by children.

In 2012 alone, 17 students were killed and 51 were injured while travelling on footboards. The seriousness of the issue came into focus after the death of four students in December.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) Limited is operating 80 trips with 40 buses as school students’ specials and 141 trips with 124 buses as women and students specials. Over three lakh bus passes have been provided to school students and one lakh to college students. Despite this, students continue to travel by footboard mostly for the thrill and sometimes due to shortage of buses on some routes.

In an attempt to curb this, RTO officials have decided to rope in students of classes IX to XII. The students will initially advice their classmates on the dangers of footboard travelling. “After this, they will track students who frequently travel by footboard and report to the school administration. They can also assist the police,” said V. Madhavan, motor vehicle inspector at K.K. Nagar RTO.

Meanwhile, State transport minister V. Balaji also spoke about the creation of student committees in schools. He was speaking at the road safety week celebrations at the Madhavaram RTO on Monday.

He said that they had chosen Chennai Schools as most of the private schools have their own buses for students. “More than college students, it is school kids who travel on the footboard. We initially thought of seizing their identity cards, but Chennai Schools’ students don’t have them,” he said.

The RTO officials have already spoken to a Chennai School in West Mambalam and will be approaching other schools. “Of the total student strength in these schools, only 50 students are unruly. If strict action is taken against them, others will desist from travelling by footboard. Even if committees are formed the result will be negligible,” said a Chennai School principal.

Meanwhile the Chennai traffic police have been taking action against footboard travellers. An amount to the tune of Rs. 4 lakh was collected through imposing of fines and 4415 cases were booked in December alone. The highest collection of over Rs. 1.46 lakhs was from South Chennai. “We have also conducted 192 awareness programmes throughout December,” said a police officer.

Meanwhile, the MTC has started 100 peak hour special services from December 26 on routes where many educational institutions are located.

“Students who frequently travel by footboard will be photographed and the same shall be presented in a monthly meeting for informing parents and the concerned institutions. We have also sent a communication to the schools and have asked them to warn the students that police action will be taken if they continue the practice,” said a source from the transport department.

Educational authorities have also been informed to take steps to change the timings of schools and colleges to 7.30 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.

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