Vehicle owners demand relook at safety norms for school cabs

Private vehicle owners and drivers transporting schoolchildren on Wednesday demanded the State government to redraw the notification issued for school cabs.

Vehicle owners and drivers, under the banner of Karnataka United School and Light Motor Vehicle Drivers Union (KUSLMVDU), held a meeting in the City and said some guidelines in the notification were against their interests.

One such guideline bars vehicles which have been running for over 15 years from the date of registration from transporting schoolchildren. “There are many vehicles which are in good condition despite running for more than 15 years. The market rate of new vehicles are too high. How can poor people afford to buy them,” asked P S Shanmugam, President of the Union.

The government levies tax on their vehicles at par with commercial vehicles though there is a different rate of tax for vans run by the educational institutions. This guideline also needs to be re-looked, he demanded.

The State government, in its January 2013 notification, had issued a set of safety guidelines to be followed by vehicles transporting schoolchildren. These guidelines come into force on May 1, 2013.

D Shashikumar, organising secretary of the Karnataka State Private Schools Association said officials in the transport department were encashing on “children sentiment.” The guidelines will only give scope for more corruption by transport officials, he added.

Freedom fighter H S Dore­swamy called upon the priva­te cab owners to ensure their vehicles were fit to carry children.

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