Children may have a risky ride by their school buses on the first day of the academic year on Monday as about half the number of vehicles used by educational institutions have not been inspected by Regional Transport Office (RTO). Of the vehicles checked, the RTO has issued notices to 11 vehicles of five schools, which had minor faults.
Those in-charge of the vehicles were asked to rectify the faults within one week from the date of issue of notice and get the approval from the RTO. Until then, they were warned not to operate the buses.
Among the parameters checked were the brake control system, presence of first-aid box, fire extinguishers, seats, windows in working condition, height of steps from the road, colour of the vehicles, and the school name, address and phone numbers clearly painted as per norms.
Large educational institutions operate around 40 vehicles. RTO officials rounded up these vehicles on roads and conducted checks. The smaller schools, which operated fewer buses, were directed to bring the vehicles to an open grounds in the city, where the officials conducted the inspection.
Vellore RTO Pon Senthilnathan said,“The checks have been going on for the past four days. The inspection was done following instructions from the State government to ensure that buses are safe for children once schools reopen.”
He added that there are more than 700 vehicles across the district and more than half of the vehicles were checked so far. Checks on all buses would be completed within three days, he added.
In Vellore and Katpadi taluks alone, there are 272 school buses from around 75 schools.
RTO officials intensified inspection of school vehicles in Vaniyambadi and Gudiyatham as well.