Students used to footboard travel on buses, beware! You may face removal from your institutions.

Passing further orders on Wednesday on the suo motu public interest litigation petition relating to the Kandanchavadi tragedy on Monday, the First Bench of the Madras High Court, comprising Chief Justice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam, said: “If any student is found travelling on the footboard, the matter may be reported not only to the parents of the student concerned, but also to the Principal of the school/college/educational institution concerned and if he repeats the same thing for the second or third time, the school may take action for removal of such students, after notice to the parent.”

Four students who were travelling on the footboard of an MTC bus were crushed to death after they were caught between the bus and a lorry. Taking judicial note of the tragedy, the High Court had directed Advocate-General, A.Navaneethakrishnan, to seek instructions from the government regarding the safety measures it proposed to take to prevent such tragedies.

When the matter came up, the Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Chennai, Karuna Sagar, filed a detailed affidavit, on the safety measures that had been taken so far, which included stringent action against footboard travellers.

He also said if any footboard travel was noticed, the buses concerned were stopped and such travellers were made to alight and arrangements made to accommodate them in other buses.

The other measures proposed are to set up display boards at all bus termini, near colleges and schools, advising students and the general public not to travel on footboards, distributing pamphlets containing the safety measures to be adopted by all and advertising in media regarding the dangers of footboard travel.

The Principal Secretary, Transport, said it has been proposed to augment ‘Students’ special’ buses, strict enforcement of traffic and safety rules and to form a committee of MTC officials, traffic police and students representatives in order to give counselling to students in educational institutions against the dangers of footboard travel and reporting of footboard travel by students to their parents.

The High Court Bench also observed that the measures taken would not only improve the traffic system, but also reduce occurrence of such accidents.

“But we lay more stress that it should be widely advertised in newspapers and television channels.

“The parents of school-going children as well as those attending colleges and other educational institutions, at the same time, shall also be informed about the stern action that may be taken by them if they allow the school students, who of course are minors, to travel on the footboard.

The Madras High Court has posted the matter for further hearing on January 2.

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