This is the second time in less than seven months that drunk driving has been reported among school bus drivers in the state.

Kerala police book 92 school bus drivers for drunk driving in 3 hoursImage: Mathrubhumi TV
news Drunk Driving Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 19:53

Kerala police on Tuesday morning conducted an unexpected operation on drunken driving among school bus drivers. In the ‘Operation Little Star’, 6,078 vehicles were searched and 92 drivers were found drunk.

Police began the surprise check around 6:30am and it lasted for about 3 hours. The operation was led by Kochi range Inspector General P Vijayan and was carried out in Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.

Vijayan said that clear instructions were given to all the police officials to check school buses for drunk drivers, low fitness levels, overloading and other violations of motor vehicle regulations.

On the motive behind the surprise search operation, he told media, “We wanted to ensure the safety of children. Some cases of drunken driving among school drivers were registered in the past. We wanted to take action before it is too late. School authorities who employ these drivers are responsible for the safety of students. They should not be bothered only about PTA meetings and marks scored.”

He added, “The operation was carried out in a very scientific manner and all the police officials were well equipped. A total of 6,078 vehicles were searched and 92 drivers were found in a drunk state early in the morning. This means that they are alcohol addicts. A total of 179 buses were running overloaded and 58 vehicles were caught with bad tyres while 26 buses were on service with low fitness level.”

Police said that the licence of the drivers will be cancelled and they will be charged under Juvenile Justice Act for neglecting regulations laid down under Motor Vehicles Act. Police will also take immediate action against the school authorities.

P Vijayan also said, “Since the drivers are employed by the school authorities, action will be taken against them for not keeping vigil, in order to prevent such incidents in the future.”

Since a lot of school drivers were arrested, police themselves dropped the children back home. Meanwhile, school authorities have come forward claiming that the bus drivers were not drunk.

This is the second time in less than seven months that drunk driving has been reported among school bus drivers in the state. In February, 36 school bus drivers were caught for drunk driving from Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts.  

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