Every third school bus in Punjab is plying without the mandatory roadworthy fitness certificate and first-aid box. Every fourth school van is driven by a person without a driving licence. Almost half of the school buses in operation were impounded for one or other offence under the Motor Vehicles Act.
These are only some of the shocking facts — submitted to the Punjab and Haryana high court by the Punjab transport authorities on July 10 — driving home a chilling reality on the safety of children aboard school buses. The figures are based on month-long random checks of 678 buses by transport officials in the state’s 22 districts between April and June.
In a state where school bus mishaps are not uncommon, the latest official report only underscores that the schools kids are riding on danger that they, their parents and school authorities may be oblivious of. Hindustan Times takes a closer look at how the school kids’ safety has taken the backseat.