Jamshedpur: Traffic police along the district transport department are taking stern steps in preventing overloading of school vans in the city.
According to the information, under the strict vigil of the city police the drive has been launched. The police are acting against the van operators after receiving regular complains of city school vans being packed with students — their bags tied on the roof of the vehicles. School van operators, too, seem little bothered about the safety of their students.
Most of the private operators do not employ attenders, who can make sure the child gets off and reaches home safe. Due to this cases of accidents and rash driving are reported.
During a meeting with the police department the drivers were given important guidelines to follow. School vans are allowed to carry 12 students, while auto rickshaws can carry up to 8 passengers but they are violating the laws and are carrying more students to make fast buck. Many even don’t have proper papers of vehicle, he added.
He informed that along with the traffic police the department has conducted surprised raids and seized several vans.
Penalty of Rs 5,000 is being slapped against those found with overloaded vehicles, besides the vehicles may be seized by enforcement police officers.
Meanwhile the van operators are also not happy with the drive launched by the traffic police. Concerned with surprise checks, some van operators have even started carrying few children these days and are asking the parents to drop their children from their own vehicles for the time being.
“We have no choice but to drop children ourselves for the time being. I think the van operators should be taken to task for their behaviour.
School management should also come forth to help improve the situation. They should also complain about overloaded school vans so that the police can act,” said Brajesh Singh, a parent. He said that the private vans also run several trips. The result: a big hurry on part of the drivers to go for their next pick up or drop.
Ram Mohan Mahato, a van operator of Sacred Heart Convent says, “We are forced to take more children because of the rising fuel prices and road tax. We have even asked the parents to hike our charges, but they are not willing.
In such a scenario, we have no choice but to go for overloading. It’s becoming difficult to run our businesses.”
Mahato, said that if the parents are so concerned they should also instruct their child how to crossing the road or they should ensure that they are around to keep an eye on their wards getting in or getting down from the vans.