It was being organised to

create awareness and sensitise drivers, says

R. Rajaram

The recent fatal accident involving a school van near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district has galvanised the Transport Department authorities here to drive home the message of safe operation of vehicles carrying school students as well as on strict compliance of safety norms and guidelines by educational institution vehicles.

Having organised sensitisation programmes for correspondents and representatives of various educational institutions in this regard on a couple of occasions here, the Transport Department authorities have planned to shortly organise a refresher programme on safe driving and aspects connected with it exclusively for the drivers of educational institution vehicles.

As a first step in this direction, the authorities have planned to convey the matter of refresher course for the drivers to the educational institutions once they re-open after the Christmas and half-yearly holidays.

The programme would be held next month in the city by involving an Automobile Association which has expressed its keenness to send trainers to sensitise the drivers to a mosaic of aspects related to safe driving, road rule adherence and safety measures that needed to be taken in the vehicles.

The drivers would be explained about the ways to drive vehicles safely; the dos and dont’s to be followed while driving; adherence to road rules and traffic signals besides being clearly told to desist from overloading, cell phone driving and over speeding keeping in mind the safety of the students.

Though the drivers attending the programme were aware of many aspects connected with safe driving, the refresher course was being organised to create awareness and sensitise them.

This would be the second batch of drivers to undergo such a refresher course, the official said.

The department had recently conducted a refresher course for a batch of 80 drivers of educational institutions vehicles here a few days ago from the funds given by the Institute of Road Transport.

The official said the department had clearly conveyed to the educational institutions the safety-related measures that needed to be taken in their vehicles transporting students as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.

The department would also consider conducting a similar refresher course separately for the drivers of private vans, call taxis and autorickshaws since many students travelled by these vehicles as well.