‘Over 82% of drivers unprofessional’
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
28th June 2012 08:27 AM
With the new academic year underway, the Hyderabad Traffic Police (HTP) is all set to launch a campaign in city schools to increase awareness among students on traffic rules and safety issues. Their target is to reach out to students in 400 schools although there are as many as 3,037 schools and about 10.5 lakh students in the twin cities.
“Safety of students is of utmost importance and is also the responsibility of the society. Even the smallest of the issues need to be discussed and the system has to be improved,” pointed out Anurag Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad.
He was speaking at a meeting organised by the HTP at the Ravindra Bharathi here on Wednesday. All the stakeholders involved including the Road Transport Authority, Board of Intermediate Education, District Education Department and others attended the meeting and exchanged their views. Their focus was mainly on school and college students below the age of 18. Kumar Vishwajeet, Joint Commissioner of Police, pointed at the difficulties of the police, saying, “we can keep the students safe only if the society and parents take the responsibility. There are over 10 lakh students and less than 10,000 traffic personnel. HTP is doing its best in letting people know their responsibilities.” The HTP made a power-point presentation to drive home their point of view. According to the police officials, most of the accident victims were minors riding two-wheelers and many cases also relate to overcrowded auto-rickshaws. In a special drive conducted recently, the HTP had booked 328 auto-rickshaws carrying excess number of children and 169 underage drivers.
Joint Transport Commissioner Panduranga Rao regretted the bitter truth that over 82% of the drivers in the city were unprofessional and advised the school managements to be sure of drivers’ experience, health and habits before hiring them. “About 998 buses have been ceased recently for not having fitness certificate. School managements need to be sure of their drivers’ experience, health and habits to ensure safety of children,” he said. The RTA officials also made a power-point presentation on safety tips for school children and traffic discipline.
Participating in the discussion, A Subba Reddy, District Education Officer, said traffic related programs were already part of school curricula and that teachers and parents need to be extra cautious regarding safety of children which was seconded by C Narayana, joint secretary, Board of Intermediate Education.
On his part, Koteshwar Rao, executive director of APSRTC, agreed that over 82% of the drivers were unprofessional but hastened to add that RTC drivers are selected only after strict tests and rigorous training. “There are also other contributing factors to accidents,” he said and urged parents and teachers to call 18002004599 for any complaints related to RTC.
Representatives of various schools and colleges in twin cities, parents associations, school transport bus managements and auto-rickshaw unions also attended the programme. “Traffic police has been conducting awareness programmes for our students for the last five years and our students have benefited from the same,” said Padmaja, teacher at Nampally Vayanasala high school. The students, who attended the programme, also did not appear bored. “The power-point presentations were really interesting. The one which talked about respecting others and paying attention to danger zones, while staying alert was very informative,” said V Karthik of the Springdale high school, Santoshnagar.
Hyderabad District Collector Gulzar Natarajan and Deputy Commissioners of Police (Traffic) PVS Ramakrishna and MK Singh were also present.
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