Stuffed into tempos, rickshaws, it’s a risky ride to school
PRAYAGARJ An increased traffic volume coupled with rash driving has led to a spurt in the number of roads accidents in the city. Susceptible to both are school children being ferried in unsafe modes of transport.
Three-wheelers, tempos, e-rickshaw, cycle rickshaws with more children than the prescribed load are a common sight on city roads during schools hours but the traffic police seem to turn a blind eye towards the risk children face daily.
According to superintendent of police (Traffic) Kuldeep Singh, the department regularly conducts checks and seizes such unsafe modes of transport. However, if the law were to be imposed stringently against all illegal modes of transport, more than half the school-going children in the city would be affected.
Several accidents of such unsafe modes of transport ferrying children have been witnessed in the city. In 2014, a student of the junior section of St Joseph’s College lost his life as he sat near the door of an overloaded tempo. Near Pani ki Tanki, a slight bump by a four-wheeler from behind made him land on road. Before the four-wheeler driver could apply brakes, he had run over the child, causing instant death.
In another incident, an overloaded cycle rickshaw carrying students turned turtle near the Medical College crossing after another rickshaw collided with it. Luckily none of the seven children in the rickshaw was hurt.
Regional transport officer (Prayagraj) DK Singh said that the department regularly conducts a drive against such unsafe modes of transport but parents needed to choose the safest mode of transport for their children. According to him, around 400 school buses were issued permits while roughly over a 1,000 vehicles including buses, three-wheelers and cars-turned-taxis are currently operating in the city without a valid school permit.
How safe the roads are in Prayagraj, may be gauged from the fact that in the first 10 months of this year over 446 lives were lost while over 684 people were critically injured in road mishaps.
School children returning home in a three-wheeler in Prayagraj on Tuesday.
(pics by Anil Kumar Maurya/HT)