BENGALURU: The driver of a private school bus was arrested on Monday evening after he ran over a seven-year-old boy, who was dashing towards his daycare centre after getting off the vehicle. The incident, which occurred in Rajarajeshwarinagar, has sent shockwaves across the locality. “Had the driver or the van’s attendant been more cautious, the boy would have lived. Sheer negligence on their part resulted in his death,” said police. The victim, Chintan Ramesh Magadum, was a class 1 student of Swarangini School and PU College in BEML Layout. Chintan’s father Ramesh Magadum works in a private company, while his mother Madhuri is a teacher. Ramesh and Madhuri had ensured that Chintan is dropped at the daycare centre in the school bus after classes. In fact, the attendant would escort Chintan to the centre on the other side of the road. Later, the couple would pick him up from the centre. The same routine unfolded on Monday, when the school van driven by Suresh stopped near the daycare centre at 3pm. However, the woman attendant reportedly did not pay attention to Chintan. She allegedly allowed the boy to cross the road on his own and returned to the bus. The driver, on seeing the attendant get into the vehicle, assumed Chintan had entered the daycare centre and pressed the accelerator. “We have seized the bus and arrested the driver. He said he hadn’t seen Chintan in front of the vehicle and this led to the accident,” a police officer said. Following the incident, senior police officers suggested school managements take precautions and school van drivers and attendants take care of children’s safety. “We create awareness about road safety in schools and the measures that should be adopted by all to avoid accidents. There are students’ association for road safety (SARS) in all 42 traffic police stations in Bengaluru and they are led by police constables. They visit schools in their jurisdiction during prayer time and provide lessons on road safety,” a senior traffic police officer explained. “Every year, we conduct workshops for school bus drivers to teach them about road safety. Schools have opened after summer vacation and we will soon begin conducting the workshops,” said Sowmyalatha SK, deputy commissioner of police (traffic west).
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