Police to patrol NH from July 15 for increased road safety – Madhwaraj
Manipal: “The Police Department will patrol National Highway 66 from July 15 to August 15 to effectively implement road safety measures,” said Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Sports and Youth Affairs. He was speaking during a public interaction promoting safety measures in school buses. The meeting was organized at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Auditorium, Rajathadri, Manipal here on July 6.
“Speeding buses are a traffic menace, leading to many accidents on National Highway 66. Bus operators should conduct refresher courses for the drivers where they are updated on road safety and the Motor Vehicle Act. Heads of the institutions share equal responsibility as the parents. Priority should be given for promoting safety measures related to school children. Within a week, a decision will be taken on school buses and other vehicles which transport school children. A committee headed by the District Superintendent of Police will be constituted with the representatives of the school management, non-government organizations and parents to promote the safety of children,” he added.
District Superintendent of Police, Annamalai K said that 990 children have died in 2014 due to road accidents. “Due to the efforts of the GOI, the Supreme Court and the GOK in implementing effective measures, the number of deaths came down to 394 in 2015. The police department has sent a circular to the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) for verification of the character of school drivers. 25 schools have applied for character verification certificates; other schools should soon apply for character verification certificates. An internal mechanism is fully functional in schools to monitor harassment and other issues related to children.” The SP also said that he has been receiving emails from citizens demanding the installation of CCTVs, a psychologist’s certificate and a medical fitness certificate for bus drivers.
Advocate Dinesh Hegde said that concerned departments should coordinate with each other while addressing the issues of students. “Negligence by the responsible departments is leading to tragic road accidents. The departments should effectively address issues related to students and swing into action when any cases are reported.” He also said that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and the Government should be followed effectively.
Fr John Walter Mendonca Correspondent of St Anthony’s Englsih School Sastan said, “Safety measures should be effectively implemented rather than indulging in blame game later. Negligence of citizens in adapting to safety measures is leading to accidents.”
Sunil from the Human Rights Federation said that loud horns of private buses should be dismantled as they cause problems leading to accidents. He urged the RTO to install speed governors for private buses. He also said that the departments should not work to cover “targets” but should effectively implement the guidelines.
Former MLA Raghupati Bhat expressed the need for formulating step by step regulations, stating that stage wise regulations would have a greater impact. He also urged the RTO to engage in dialogue with cab owners and bus drivers to ensure safety.
Gerald Crasta said that there should be specific pickup points for buses. Dr Vijayendra suggested that school buses use only the second lane with a speed of 40 kmph. He also said that lack of civic sense leads to avoidable accidents.
ZP CEO Priyanka Mary Francis, RTO officials, DDPI, heads of the institutions and others were present.