427 school buses, vans fined for lacking safety measures in Noida
The district police Thursday fined 427 school buses and vans attached to 129 schools in Noida and Greater Noida for not adhering to safety guidelines.
The enforcement was conducted early morning under Operation Clean, an initiative by the district police to ‘fix issues affecting common man’. Every day, the police are conducting special drives against traffic violators, drink driving, drinking in public places, illegal spa centres, etc. The action against school buses is the 11th drive under the initiative.
The Noida police, in a statement, said the enforcement drive was conducted to ensure school buses and vans adhered to the safety norms. “The police checked these vehicles and issued fines for violations. We also issued warnings to drivers and conductors of 702 buses/vans,” the police said. The police recovered ₹26,700 in fines from the violators.
Vaibhav Krishna, SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “We had received information that some of these buses violate traffic rules in Noida and Greater Noida. We found some drivers and conductors not in uniform; some vehicles did not have firefighting equipment, first-aid box or vehicle documents. Some drivers did not have their licences and they were fined. We did not seize any vehicle since the children were on board these buses,” he said.
HImesh Tiwari, assistant regional transport officer (ARTO), enforcement, said some of these buses and vans were fined for overloading, not having fitness certificate and insurance papers. “They have been warned of stricter actions if the violation is repeated. The vans drivers were also advised against overloading and their vehicles would be seized for a second offence,” he said.
Noida traffic police has also issued an advisory to all these school buses to install speed governors on buses and vans. “The maximum speed of school buses and vans should be 40km per hour. The violators will be find ₹5,000 if found driving without speed governor devices,” Anil Kumar Jha, SP (traffic) said.
The SSP said that similar drives will be conducted over the next few days.
UP transport department had recently made the installation of GPS devices and CCTV cameras compulsory on all school buses and vans. This came into effect with the 26th amendment in UP Motor Vehicles Rule,1998, on May 27.
In the latest amendment, the government has inserted some special provisions for school vehicles to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.
There are around 350 private schools in Noida and Greater Noida and they engage over 1,000 buses and vans to pick-up and drop students. The new order aims to improve students’ safety in the twin cities.
As per the government order, issued by Aradhana Shukla, principal secretary, UP transport department, these buses must be equipped with vehicle location tracking devices. “The bus should be fitted with a speed device so that the speed does not exceed 40 kmph. The provision of CCTV cameras on such buses is compulsory now,” the government order said.
Tiwari said that the transport department has asked all the school bus operators to ensure they install CCTV cameras and follow all safety norms at the earliest.