The Maharashtra Transport Department has directed Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) across the state to take action against parents ferrying two or more kids to school on two-wheelers. The action will be taken against the violators as part of its ongoing drive to check if school transport norms are being followed. Pune RTO has already started taking action against autorickshaws which carry more than permissible capacity. It has acted against 150 autorickshaws so far.
Back in November, RTOs had launched a fortnight-long special drive, as part of which action was taken against school buses, vans and auto-rickshaws which didn’t follow the school transport rules set by the department. As per an order issued by Additional Transport Commissioner S B Sahasrabuddhe, the ambit of the drive will be widened to include two-wheelers which violate the norms.
“As part of the current drive, motorcycles carrying students should also be checked. If it is found that more than the approved number of passengers are being carried or that the driver or the pillion-riding student is not wearing helmets, then strict action should be taken against the violators,” reads the order issued on December 4.
Pune Regional Transport Officer Ajit Shinde told Pune Newsline that they will soon start taking action against motorcycle riders who violate these rules while ferrying children to school. “The security of schoolchildren is of utmost important. So far, we have been acting against autorickshaws and school vans which violated the rules of school transport. Since the transport commissionerate has now asked us to also check two-wheelers, we will start doing so,” said Shinde.
He said since November 25, the Pune RTO has so far taken action against 150 school vans and autorickshaws for rule violations. The state Transport Department had also ordered RTOs to launch a drive to ensure that school transport vehicles had proper authourisation, after a Bombay High Court order on November 25.
“No autorickshaw has been granted a permit to operate as a school transport vehicle. Hence, parents need to take care while hiring a vehicle to send their wards to school. Parents have to take precautions while hiring an autorickshaw for the purpose,” said Pune RTO in a statement on Friday, adding, “Parents and vehicle owners should take precautions that the vehicle does not carry more children than the permitted number. The RTO is taking strict action against the violators and if inconvenience is caused to the students, the parents and the operators will be responsible for that.”