Pune : RTO to take action against auto rickshaw drivers violating traffic rules and overloading

Pune Pulse

Pune : RTO to take action against auto rickshaw drivers violating traffic rules and overloading(Representational image)

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Between April and October of this year, the Pune RTO conducted an inspection and found that more than half of the vehicles used for transporting schoolchildren were violating traffic regulations, such as operating without permits and carrying excess load.

During this period, a total of 689 vehicles were inspected, resulting in 418 of them being penalized for various violations. The majority of these penalties were related to the unauthorized transportation of schoolchildren, along with some vehicles carrying more students than allowed. As a consequence, transporters and drivers were collectively fined Rs 35.7 lakh.

Following the viral video depicting school children-involved in an autorickshaw accident in Visakhapatnam, Pune RTO officials have expressed concerns about the persistent use of auto rickshaws for school transportation in different areas of Pune. The large number of auto rickshaws presents a significant challenge in identifying and taking action against all of them.

Autorickshaws are not permitted by the RTO to transport schoolchildren, although they are allowed to carry them as regular passengers in exchange for meter-based fares. Residents have raised concerns about the sight of autorickshaws crowded with 8-9 students navigating through congested traffic. They are alarmed to see students clinging onto their seats while clutching their bags, yet no measures are being taken against these vehicles.

It has been noted that the fares for auto rickshaws are determined based on the distance travelled. Currently, the school bus fare for a 3km distance ranges from Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000, and for a 6km distance, it amounts to Rs 3,000. The RTO officials have acknowledged the challenges faced during the pandemic, including the need to pay staff salaries and the higher fuel rates. In response, they have announced plans to launch a campaign specifically targeting autorickshaws involved in transporting schoolchildren.

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