Parents, NCPA call for strict guidelines for schoolbus services

Twenty one year-old, Sandaruwan the driver of the school van that was involved in a collision with a bus in Mt Lavinia early this week, leaving nine students injured – at least one seriously, was in the habit of racing with another school van owned by his employer.

Sachini Imara, a year 11 student of St. Lawrence College,Wellawatte told the Sunday Times that even on the day of the accident he was driving at a high speed going in a zig-zag manner, raising cries from students travelling in the van.

Sachini being treated for her injuries. Pic by Reka Tharangani

“When a student said she was scared, he told her to come to the front,” Sachini who was treated at the Kalubowila hospital told the Sunday Times. The driver had got his licence only seven months back and the particular vehicle repeatedly had mechanical problems needing attention, the Sunday Times learns.

Ajantha Gunaratne, the father of the seriously injured, Kavinda Gunaratne, of Nalanda College, Colombo said he believed one of the problems was that any person who had a van could run a school van service.

“The driver’s experience is not taken into account, but the vehicle’s owner is still permitted to run a school van service,” he said.

He said in this particular vehicle there were several complaints that the tyres were worn out and the vehicle was more often in the garage than on the road.. “Authorities should be more vigilant about permitting persons to run school van services as the lives of children are at risk when any person is allowed to run such a service,” he said.

Of the nine students who were injured Kavinda who sustained head injuries is being treated at the ICU of the Kalubowila Hospital. Two others are also still receiving treatment. Meanwhile National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Chairperson Anoma Dissanayaka told the Sunday Times that the particular vehicle involved in the accident was not one of those registered with the Authority under a directive given last year.

Kavinda’s father

“We have 6,000 school vans registered with the Authority. The purpose of getting the vehicles to register was to check the road worthiness of the vehicle and to prevent cases of child abuse,” she said.

She said of the 6,000 vehicles registered there was only one complaint against a driver who had sexually abused a student.

She said the President had directed to carry out an inquiry into the Mt Lavinia incident and make necessary recommendations to prevent such incidents.

Ms. Dissanayaka said that it is hoped to make a proposal that a driver of a school van should have a licence with a minimum of five years experience, a clean police report and should not have been involved in any fatal accident. The vehicle should also be roadworthy, she said.

She said that the recommendations would be submitted to the Ministry of Child Development and Women’ Affairs.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other News Articles
161 Islamic missionaries ordered to leave country
Scholarships: India told to come through Treasury
US$ 6m overhaul for three combat aircraft
Fisheries row: India not ready for joint patrolling
US sanctions on Iran, Lanka may buy oil from Saudi Arabia, Oman
Dissension within Govt. ranks stalls LG electoral reforms Bills
UPFA infighting in CMC continues
Parents, NCPA call for strict guidelines for schoolbus services
Qatar interested in host of investments
CEB Unions insist on 30% pay rise; decision on TU action tomorrow
Expert committee report a whitewash, say unions
Sexual abuse of another foreign woman down south
Health sector calms down with ministerial nominee’s appointment cancelled
100 of man’s best friend for police work at 750,000 each
Nuwara Eliya torn between extreme weather patterns
Playing with lives: Reckless drivers who heed no laws
Diversity should be a basis for celebration not conflict, says Abdul Kalam
India prods with a small stick while affording huge carrots
President Rajapaksa mimicked on stage; Principal interdicted
Shehan awarded prestigious South Asian literary prize for Chinaman
Now a floating hotel at Diyawanna Oya
Armed men on nocturnal terror visits to deter students’ struggle
Bogus female state intelligence officer nabbed
Lentils, sugar and garlic prices to go up
Galle Lit. festival flags display issue ends well
Air quality to be monitored as pollution rises- CEA
Dengue may reach epidemic proportions, Health Officials warn
Four years after democracy, Maldives at crossroads again


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2012 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution