'How am I driving?' We have seen these stickers on the backs of cabs. Everyday we come across scores of such vehicles (cabs, school buses, college buses) with the sticker to assure you that the driver is responsible enough not to drive recklessly.
Some stickers even provide a number where you can complain in case of rash driving. However, the question is does anyone call at all? Private cabs hired by companies can still be controlled as employees who travel by such cabs can ask the drivers to go slow.
The worst hit are the school kids who have no say in the matter. Parents who send their kids to schools which are miles away from home are a worried lot. There's nobody to control these drivers. At least so it seems as school bus drivers recklessly drive without bothering about the plight of kids inside.
Says Kala Sundar, an eye witness, "While I am waiting at the bus stop every morning, I have noticed school buses speeding away without even heeding the traffic signals. I don't think there's anybody inside who controls the driver's wayward behaviour."
Same is the case with engineering college buses too that are located on the outskirts of the city. Says Bimal Sen, a student pursuing B. Tech at a city college, "My driver doesn't even bother to wait till we board the bus.
He's always in a hurry to push off. When asked he says it's important that he reaches the campus on time or we will get late for the class. He even says he has to go fast to avoid getting stuck in the traffic congestion."
In the recent past, the number of school bus accidents across the country has only increased. Looks like there are no strict safety norms in place for the school buses. Although school authorities claim maintain that they do ensure kids are safety transported in their buses, the reality is entirely different.
The very sight of school buses speeding has become a major cause for concern among parents who send their kids by school buses. Sudhir M, a parent says, "My son has come back home and complained about rash driver on several occasions. Once, I even gave the driver a piece of my mind. But that doesn't seemed to have helped."
Most schools have a fleet of buses to ferry kids between home and school. Parents feel schools must take up the responsibility of ensuring children's safety. It's important that the bus drivers follow traffic rules and also keep in mind that they are transporting kids. The schools must direct the bus drivers not to exceed the speed limit.
Most schools do maintain a complaint book to keep tabs on the bus drivers. Says Archana Singh, "My son's school is very serious about such offences. They hold periodic meetings with the bus drivers to ensure that the kids are safe."
It's not just the responsibility of the school, but the drivers too should feel morally and socially responsible to carry out the duty entrusted upon them. What matters ultimately is the children's safety.