With the beginning of the academic year in schools, officials from the Deputy Regional Transport Office in Vashi conducted surprise checks on school buses and vans to ensure that they are following safety guidelines laid down by the department.
The drive was conducted between July 8 and July 12. The RTO officers found 23 schools guilty of violating safety norms. Of these, five bus operators were guilty of overloading their buses. In about 11 buses, the speed governor was not working. There are more than 70 schools in Navi Mumbai.
RTO officers sought paperwork such as fitness certificate, insurance paper, permit paper, Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUC) and license. Other basic measures like emergency window, fire extinguishers is also a must in every school bus. The officers also checked for issues such as filling buses beyond capacity and school name painted on the buses’ exterior.
RTO officials even handed over reports to guilty bus operators mentioning missing paperwork and the fine they had to pay. So far about Rs 18,800 has been collected as fines from three bus operators. The other bus operators have to pay the fine within seven days of the report, failing which their names will be registered in a wanted list.
Sanjay Daygude, deputy regional transport officer at Vashi RTO, said “We had decided during the transport commission meeting that we will conduct the drive. After this drive we hope that overloading in buses will be avoided and the safety of children is taken into consideration.”