A day after 13 children were killed in a collision between a school van and a truck, the district rural police have found that the van driver, the 14th causality of the collision, did not have a driving licence.
“We have checked the damaged vehicles and inquired from the family of the driver Vishal (23) and found that the he had not obtained a driving licence. He was driving the van and ferrying the school kids in an unauthorised and illegal manner,” SP Rajinder Singh told HT.
"We summoned the van owner, Harinder Singh of village Gohir. He claimed that he had sold the vehicle to Vishal last year. Vishal was paying him montly installments as part of the deal to buy the vehicle,” he added.
Investigations are on to arrest the absconding driver of the truck, Jagjit Singh, who was booked under Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and for negligent driving.
Meanwhile, the district transport authority and the traffic police swung into action on Tuesday and impounded ten school buses for violation of traffic norms and challaned 41 vehicles.
"We have impounded seven buses and traffic police has impounded three school buses for violating different traffic norms, including overloading,” district transport officer (DTO) Dalvinderjit Singh told HT.
However, overloading of auto-rickshaw and school buses has become a routine affair in the city and the authorities wake up, only after occurrence of mishaps in a knee-jerk reaction.
Recently, two school students were killed when a tractor trolley hit them near Sodal temple, but authorities failed to take any action against unauthorised commercial use of such trolleys.
“We have complained to the officials concerned a number of times to check the commercial use of a tractor trolley as it is a huge nuisance and threat on roads, especially inside the city limits. However, no action was taken,” said truck union leader Happy Sandhu, adding that if no action was taken against such trolleys soon, they will launch an agitation.
When contacted, additional commissioner of police (ADCP) Navjot Mahal claimed that police have launched a special campaign against overloading of school buses, auto-rickshaws and even plying of tractor trolleys.
“Besides the police, it is responsibility and duty of the parents not to send their wards in overloaded vehicles, which can be a threat to their lives,” Mahal said.