Ajit Singh Kohar, Transport Minister Punjab today stressed upon to reduce the ‘Road Accidental Deaths’ in the state and said that the reduction in the increasing deaths due to road accidents was the call of the hour.While presiding over a high level meeting of Punjab State Road Safety Council, Mr. Kohar said the majority of accidents involving the school buses happens due to the unsafe bus body fabrication and the failure of the education institutions to adopt comprehensive periodical preventive maintenance procedure and due to the lack of driving skills among the bus drivers.He said that Punjab Government has initiated an elaborate drive to ensure that the road safety norms are being properly implemented. For this purpose a scheme namely 'Safe School Vahan ' has been formulated by the transport department. School Education Department has been entrusted upon a special responsibility to properly maintain school buses and their use following the norms of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and Supreme Court rulings.
In the meeting, it was decided that every school bus must be equipped with the speed governor with its maximum speed limit of 40 kmph. The driver of the school bus must possess license of heavy vehicle with 5 years of experience and the school bus be painted in yellow colour. The school buses must also bear the name and the contact number of the school in bold letters. These buses must also carry first aid boxes. Directions to curb the practice of over loading in the buses were also passed. It was also decided that the services of a driver, who was challaned two times, would not be hired for school bus. Medical check up of the school bus drivers would also be got done time to time.
To curb the accident at unmanned railway crossings, to discuss the draft of Road Safety Policy and Road Safety Fund a joint working committee consisting of Principal Secretary, Transport, Principal Secretary, PWD B&R, State Transport Commissioner, Punjab , I.G./Traffic and Additional State Transport Commissioner (Enf.), Punjab has been constituted to review the progress in this regard. To effectively execute the work of road safety, the fund position was also discussed in the meeting.
Mr. Kohar said that instructions were also issued to all the district transport authorities to implement the decisions of the transport department. He said that all the DTOs would be held responsible for any violations of the road safety norms and departmental action would be initiated against him. The meeting was attended by Mr. S.S. Channi, Principal Secretary Transport; Mr. Prithi Chand State Transport Commissioner; Mr. Sanjeev Kalra I.G Punjab; Chief Engineer, PWD; Mr. Harmail Singh Additional State Transport Commissioner; Mrs Sunita Rani, Assistant Director Higher Education and Mr Baljinder Singh Kang & Mr Prabh Dyal (both non official members).