Bengaluru: Overloaded school vans to face action

Bengaluru: Overloaded school vans to face action

The police will take action against school vehicles violating safety norms. DH file photo

Overloaded school vans and drivers forcing kids to sit on fuel tanks in various parts of the city have caught the attention of the city police. Disturbed by a recent incident involving schoolchildren sitting atop an LPG cylinder in a van, Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has ordered to book such vehicle operators. 

Highlighting the plight of kids ferried in such precarious condition, Rao had posted the photograph of a school van on January 29 and tweeted: "Will parents and school management blame police if we start prosecuting these vans which ferry 15 children dangerously for a 4+1 capacity car? Kids are perched on a gas cylinder! Whom to hold responsible during an accident, all three..”

The tweet was flooded with several responses, and also similar complaints from various parents.

Ensuring the safety of schoolgoing kids, Rao directed officials to crack down on errant vehicles violating rules and safety guidelines issued by both the Supreme Court and the Department of Public Instruction. 

Rao told DH: “It was indeed disturbing to see kids being ferried to schools in such dangerous way and we cannot tolerate such blatant violations involving the safety of kids.” 

He continued: “We will start checking vehicles to ensure the safety of kids, and if any operator found violating the norms, suitable action will be initiated against such operators.” 

According to the school bus safety guidelines, no vehicle is allowed to carry children more than the permitted seating capacity. “It was shocking to see vehicles with a seating capacity of 6+1 carrying 10 to 15 children in a suffocating ambience,” said a traffic inspector from central Bengaluru. 

A joint team of officials from the police, transport and traffic police will hold surprise checks on school vehicles, including those that are operated by individual schools, and also the vehicles operated by private players.

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