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Over 200 school buses, vans impounded in Delhi in 2019-20, a sharp drop from previous year

In a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha Monday, road transport and highways ministry also listed measures being taken to ensure safety of transport for school children. 

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New Delhi: From April 2019 to March 2020, the Delhi Police impounded 23 school buses and issued 85 challans to them. And in the same time period, it also impounded 220 school vans and issued 397 challans to 248 of the school vans it checked, the Modi government said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. 

This is a sharp drop from the preceding year (2018-19), when the Delhi Police checked a total of 1,171 school vans and impounded 1,039 of them, while issuing 1,920 challans.  

Replying to a question on ‘unsafe means of transport being used to carry school children to school’, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari Monday provided details of measures adopted towards the safety of children and action taken against negligence shown by vehicles transporting them.  

He explained that under Rule 95A of Delhi Motor Vehicle Rule 1993, special provision for a fitness certificate by the Delhi Government had been kept for education institution buses and vehicles carrying school children, while the Central Motor Vehicles Rules provided for testing and approval of school buses and their time to time inspection.  

Gadkari also provided details of the total number of hit-and-run cases in Delhi. From 2017 to 2019, a total of 6,139 hit-and-run cases took place in Delhi, killing 1,828 people. 

Road accidents in India

Gadkari also answered questions on road safety and measures being implemented to ensure road accidents are reduced. 

In his reply, the minister said the main causes of road accidents were over speeding, drink driving, use of mobile phones, mechanical defects in vehicles, driving on the wrong side, weather and road conditions and lack of knowledge of road signs. 

Addressing steps the ministry was taking to combat the issue of road safety, Gadkari said initiatives included public campaigns, a road safety month every year, a certification course for road safety auditors in Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), fixing blackspots on highways, fitting speed limiting devices on all transport vehicles and setting up fitness centres for cars. 

According to data released by the road ministry in 2019, India ranked first in the number of road accident deaths in a year out of 199 countries in the world, and accounted for 11 per cent of accident-related deaths in the world. 

The updated figure for 2020 was not given in the reply Monday. But at a road safety conference in January this year, Gadkari said 2020 saw a 22 per cent drop in road accident deaths in India and a 26.48 per cent reduction in road accidents, which he attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also set a deadline to reduce 50 per cent road accident deaths by 2024. 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Gadkari wants speed limits for vehicles raised by 20kmph, says India has better roads now


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