Only a couple of weeks after a Kerala bus driver was suspended for letting college girls take charge of the gear changes, another bus driver has been suspended for a similar incident. A bus driver in Kerala, identified as K V Sudheesh was suspended for six months after he allowed a child to change the gear of the bus while it was in operation, reports MalayalaManorama.
The bus driver was suspended after he tried to impress a small boy and other passengers on the bus. The incident came to light when the video of the child changing the gears became viral on the Internet. The video shows that the child sat on the transmission box of the bus and changed the gears when the driver indicated him to do so. The bus was still in motion when the incident happened and there were tourists on the bus.
K V Sudheesh, who is the driver of the tourist bus allowed the child to take charge of the gear at Pamela on Thiruvalla-Mallappally route in Pathanamthitta district. The video reached the local RTO Jiji George who then asked the driver to pay him a visit and explain the incident. The driver said that the vehicle was being driven on open ground and not on the public roads when the video was recorded. However, the investigation by the RTO revealed that the bus was indeed being driven on the public roads at the time.
After the investigation, the driver of the bus was suspended for the next six months. The driving license of the driver has been seized by the RTO. It is not known if any fine has been imposed on the driver.
Such an incident can be quite dangerous for the occupants of the bus. Since the child is very small and has never driven a bus before, getting the gears in the right slots can be a challenge. It should be noted that driving a heavy vehicle like a bus is extremely different from driving a small vehicle. In India, the minimum driving age for getting a license is 18 years old for geared vehicles. For heavy vehicles, the age bar is higher. Any mistake in putting the gear in the wrong slot can cause the vehicle the stop suddenly or cause a massive jerk to the bus. It can even cause injury to the occupants of the bus. Such untrained people should never control a vehicle, especially the heavy vehicles.
In India, underage driving is also a major problem and is the cause of many accidents. The cops from different states have taken various steps to curb the menace and even hold the parents responsible for letting the underage children drive around.