S. Anil Radhakrishnan
Children taken to schools in packed vehicles
A large number of complaints received
No more than three persons allowed
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The traffic police have decided to crack down on autorickshaws that flout rules while ferrying schoolchildren.
The decision comes in the wake of a large number of complaints received by the city police that autorickshaws transporting children to and from school are packed.
The police have found that children studying in nursery to the primary level are ferried to schools in violation of all rules. They are forced to sit on both sides of the driver's seat and on the side bar.
In the majority of the cases, the autorickshaws carry around 10 children. School bags, tiffin boxes and water bottles of the children are hung from the side bars, on both sides of the driver's seat and on top of the vehicle.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, no more than three adults can travel in an autorickshaw. The authorities permit up to six children in some states. Such an exemption has not been given in the State.
“Major accidents involving autorickshaws ferrying schoolchildren have not been reported in the city till date. But minor accidents involving the three-wheelers are being reported,” B. Varghese, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic, South, said. The traffic police had decided to crack down on the erring autorickshaw drivers as the safety of the children could not be compromised, he said.
The police have also found that makeshift arrangements had been made in some three-wheelers to ferry more schoolchildren.
Those drivers who ferry more people/children that allowed can be booked for violating rules.
A penalty of Rs.100 will be levied for overloading and Rs.500 for permit violation from those found violating the rules and ferrying more schoolchildren.
Road safety experts say the school authorities and the parents should cooperate with the police to check this problem.