Minister warns of action against unfit school vans

KARACHI: Minster for Transport, Sports and Youth Affairs, Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani said on Tuesday that stern action would be taken against school van drivers reluctant to implement ministry directives regarding fitness of vehicles.

Talking to PPI over telephone, Jakhrani said that the ministry had serious concerns regarding safety of school vans because they risk lives of several children. “We have given an advertisement which urges school van drivers and managements to implement safety and fitness rules within 15 days,” the minister said.

He said that the provincial transport department had decided to regulate and improve the safety standards of school vans in the wake of the deadly school bus accident that took place in Nawabshah on 15 January 2014.

“We have prepared a proposal in this regard with the consultation of education department and it will be sent to school managements and van operators to get their response, after which the proposals will be made obligatory for every operator,” he said.

Jakhrani said that they had proposed a proper colour code, registration of school vans as commercial vehicles, vehicle fitness certificates, assuring CNG cylinder and kit safety, body safety of the vehicle and installation of fire extinguishers in the school vans.

He said that the department had also asked the operators and school managements to develop a two-page guide for children on what to do in case of a fire and to deploy a conductor with each van.

“We will give time to the van operators to ensure implementation of all the rules in this regard,” he concluded.

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