The Motor Vehicles Department has conducted the fitness test of over 1,000 school vehicles, ahead of the reopening.Not just the department, even parents and teachers have an equal role in ensuring safe commuting for children
KOCHI:With most school re-opening on Friday after the summer recess, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has initiated many measures to ensure the safety of school kids. The department has conducted the fitness test of over 1,000 school vehicles. This includes a thorough check of the brake system, doors,condition of the tyres, seating facility and speed governors.
Besides providing special training to drivers and nannies,who play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of students, the department has also issued special stickers to school vehicles that cleared the fitness test. It will also subject autorickshaws and other vehicles used to ferry children to the fitness test.
Meanwhile, the general opinion is that the responsibility for ensuring the safety of children lies in the hands of parents and teachers alike.
Express hereby suggest both the parents and the teachers ensure the following criteria are met before sending the students in the vehicles.
Keeping a list
The school authorities should keep a list of students ferried in a bus. The drivers have to keep the same list too. The list should include the name, class address and phone number of the parents. This makes, in case of any mishaps, rescue operations easier.
The drivers of the vehicle should possess a minimum experience of 10 years. Those who have less than that should not be allowed to drive the vehicle. It is the duty of the school authorities to check the experience of the drivers before appointing them.
Nannies should be appointed
The parents and the school authorities should ensure the service of nannies in all vehicles used to ferry kids. The students should cross the road only with the help of the nannies.
Maintenance of vehicle
According to the MVD officers, the maintenance work of school vehicle at regular intervals is essential for avoiding the accidents.
"The death of two kids at Koothattukalam in 2016 happened due to the bad condition of the school van. Had they conducted regular maintenance, the brake failure could have been avoided and the life of two kids can be saved. It is not possible to conduct the inspection of all vehicle at regular intervals. So it is the duty of the school authorities to ensure that," said Enforcement RTO K M Shaji.
As per the MVD rule, the students above 12 have to be provided with a single seat in the school bus. But, most of the buses flout this rule. "Since it is difficult for the MVD to conduct a drive to check the number of students in the buses, the parents and teachers should take care of this," said a Motor Vehicle Inspector.
During a drive conducted by the department the last year, over 50 autorickshaws were caught for overloading. Though the department issued a strict warning to the school authorities,both the school authorities and the drivers turned a blind eye to this.