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School Vehicles In U'khand Openly Violating Safety Norms: Panel

School Vehicles In Ukhand Openly Violating Safety Norms: Panel

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Commission for Protection of Child Rights today said there was open violation of safety norms by vehicles hired or run by schools for children and asked the state government to assign the task of checking them to police if the transport department could not handle it.

In a letter to Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh, UCPCR Chairman Yogendra Khanduri said during a recent inspection of school buses the panel had found they were not following the Supreme Courts guidelines for maintaining the safety of children in the absence of regular checking by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in the 13 districts of the state.
Terming the situation in Dehradun as the worst, he said commission member Seema Dora, who had conducted the inspection, had recommended action against the RTO for its evasiveness over the matter.
Repeated attempts by the commission to draw the RTOs attention to the issue failed with no one picking up the phone at its offices in the districts, he said.
Talking about the violations, he said children were being overloaded like luggage into these vehicles (vans, Tata sumos, three-wheelers) which are without speed governors, alarm bells, sirens or CCTVs.
Even buses carrying school girls were without women helpers which was mandatory, Khanduri said in the letter. Inexperienced drivers without licences and police verification were also being engaged by the schools for the purpose, Khanduri said.
The commission ohairman said he hoped that the chief secretary would take serious note of the points raised by the commission in the light of recent road accidents caused by reckless driving which had killed many school children.
He said if the transport department could not keep a tab on school vehicles violating safety norms then the responsibility of checking them should be handed over to the police which can be more effective. PTI

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