Visakhapatnam

700 school buses in district yet to get fitness certificate

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Parents can find out vehicle’s status by logging on to transport dept. website

Less than 1,500 buses of the 2,100-odd vehicles owned by educational institutions in the district have obtained the mandatory Fitness Certificate (FC) from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) this year.

The RTA had mandated that all schools and colleges get the FCs for their buses renewed during the summer holidays.

The FC is meant to be renewed every year, and failure to do so means the bus cannot be allowed to ply on the road.

On Thursday, the Transport Department seized three school buses for plying without a Fitness Certificate, following checks on 200 buses. “We have decided to intensify the raids from Friday and any school bus found without FC will be seized. Of the 2,141 buses owned by educational institutions in the district, FC was issued to only 1,441 buses till Wednesday,” Deputy Transport Commissioner S. Venkateswara Rao told The Hindu.

Mr. Venkateswara Rao says parents can find out if their child’s school bus has obtained a fitness certificate by logging on to the department’s website. “All that the parents have to do is to note down the registration number of bus and check its fitness certificate validity on the website www.aptransport.org ,” Mr. Venkateswara Rao said.

Heavy penalties

Any discrepancies can be brought to the department’s notice by sending a text. “Parents can send a text or WhatsApp message to 9848171102 ,” he said.

School buses found to be plying without the FC are liable to be seized and heavy penalties on the managements, he warned.

Also, the vehicles cannot be used for weddings or political events. Any use of the vehicles other than for ferrying students would attract penalties, he said.

A bus sans FC is liable to have issues such as speed governors not limiting the speed to 60 kmph, wipers not functioning, or worn-out tyres.

Another crucial aspect of school bus travel is the driver, as several accidents happen due to careless driving. Regarding this, Mr. Venkateswara Rao said parents can play a big role.

Going the extra mile

“Parents can take turns travelling in the bus daily to know the behaviour of the driver ,” he said.

The school management has to give prior intimation to the Transport Department whenever they replace a driver, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 9:00:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/700-school-buses-in-district-yet-to-get-fitness-certificate/article27902922.ece

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