MADURAI: Sample this: There is enough room inside, but most of the youth prefer to put their lives at risk by hanging on to the railings of the footboard, clutching their lives in their hand. Their reason is simple: To impress girls.
B Veeranan, a student studying in a private matriculation school in Anna Nagar residing in Karuppayurani, said the students prefer to travel on footboard mainly to make the girls notice them.
“Usually the girls sitting inside the bus would turn back and notice the boys travelling on footpath. It gives us courage and confidence to speak to the girls when they come out of the bus,” he said.
G Arun, a college student who travels from Villapuram to Tallakulam daily said: “From class X onwards, I am a ‘footboard traveller’. I prefer to travel on the rear footboard only when the speed of the bus is too much. If the speed is higher, there is always a chance to fall down. We the footboard travellers have two benefits. One, we will be able to see the girls inside the bus and those waiting in each and every stop. On each step, six boys can travel. In total, 18 boys can stand on the footboard freely,” he said.
Chief Educational Officer R Swaminathan said he will send a circular to all the school heads to spread awareness among students about the dangers of footboard travel.
“I will urge the heads to monitor, depute teachers in each and every bus stop to curb this,” he said.
Speaking to TNIE, TNSTC CITU District Secretary, A Kanagasundar, said bus drivers or conductors alone cannot end the footboard travel.
“Though no driver or conductors received notice or fine in the district, penalty of Rs 100 was slapped on bus drivers and conductors in other districts. The penalty is adding to their stress,” he said.
Speaking to TNIE, Joint Transport Commissioner Pon Senthilnathan said, “A Whatsapp group will be created by each RTO with the school heads, TNSTC staff and traffic police personnel in their respective jurisdiction in a bid to put an end to this issue.”