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Road Transport Authority to crack the whip on school buses violating rules in Andhra Pradesh

By Express News Service VIJAYAWADA: With just a fortnight left for the academic year to start, the Road Transport Authority (RTA) has decided to tighten the noose on the school buses flouting rules. In this regard, officials have launched a drive across the State against the school buses which failed to get fitness certificate from the authorities.

According to RTA officials, in all 443 school buses across the State were involved in accidents in 2017-18 and 57 students lost their lives. To bring down the accidents, this year the department has already sent letters to the managements of schools and educational institutions for sending their vehicles to the RTA offices concerned for renewal of fitness before the beginning of academic year. As part of drive, officials laid focus on the mechanical condition of the vehicles, including the height of the footboard, strength of the floorboard, seats, flooring, brake system, fire extinguisher and emergency exit.

The break inspectors will also verify the legal documents of the vehicles, they added. ”As directed, we have already completed the first-round inspection of vehicles used for transporting students. Notices have been issued to some vehicles as they have been flouting several guidelines prescribed by the AP Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 on carrying students.

Now they have been given time to correct the deficiencies. The vehicles will be inspected again to verify compliance, failing which they will face strict action”, said a deputy transport commissioner on condition of anonymity. The DTC said the department would initiate action against the school bus owners who failed to produce their vehicles for inspection to be conducted shortly.

Several school buses found operating with tampered speed governors, worn-out tyres, poor brake system, no fire extinguisher and covered emergency exit doors have been sent back for immediate replacement, he said. The department has also given instructions to all the private schools to verify the antecedents of drivers. Schools have already been directed to appoint only those with heavy vehicle license with a minimum of 10 years of experience as drivers.

With the resources and infrastructure available with RTA offices, 250 buses could get fitness per day. ”The transport staff so far checked around 5,000 school buses for fitness and the remaining will get fitness by June 18.

Our task force team will raid those buses which do not have fitness after June 12,” he added.

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