Schools in the district reopen on July 5 (Tuesday) and Deputy Transport Commissioner N. Sivaram Prasad has urged managements of schools, parents, and autorickshaw drivers and owners to come together to make the ride of the children a “safe” one by following a new standard operating procedure (SOP).
Managements of schools that witnesses its students coming by autorickshaw should keep a regular register noting down the details of autorickshaw number, driver’s name and details, how many children are ferried in it (beyond the allowed capacity or as per norms) and hold a monthly parent-teacher meeting to tell parents about the danger of overloading the vehicle.
“Taking a lesson from the recent incident in which five persons were charred to death in Tadimarri mandal, parents must insist on sending their wards only if a permitted number of students are ferried and help the Transport Department and the district police to make roads safer for everyone,” said Mr. Sivaram Prasad.
Following a directive from the District Collector of Anantapur, the Transport Department held an awareness programme for autorickshaw drivers at Anantapur, Rayadurg, Tadipatri, and Guntakal offices. More than 200 drivers attended the meeting.
At the Anantapur office, the Transport officials explained the dangers of overloading, the need for ensuring the fitness of the vehicle, having a permit, insurance, and pollution NOC at all times. The department in association with the district police would hold special drives to check such violations from Tuesday, and drivers would be penalised for the first two violations and during the third violation charge sheets would be filed against the owner and driver of the auto to ensure both are jailed.
“If the parents and school management cooperate, the safety of the children can be ensured and all schools should install CCTV cameras in front of their main gates where these vehicles arrive to record violations and also help police in case of any inquiry,” he said. The RTA officials and police could be part of the parent-teacher meeting, at which safety and security of students can be discussed, he added.
Meanwhile, of the 740 registered school buses, only 449 had got their fitness renewed for the new academic session beginning on Tuesday.