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Van exceeded 80kmph: Police

18 January 2012 04:54 pm - 83     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Nine school children were badly injured due to the negligence of a 21-year old school van driver on a temporary license who drove the van between 80-100 kilometres per hour and crashed into a bus at around 7.00am this morning between the Odeon Cinema and the Mount Lavinia cemetery on the Galle road, police said.
The van is nearly 16 years old and the van driver had tried to overtake another vehicle and had travelled on the wrong side crashing into an oncoming bus. Police said that everyday between 6.30am and 7.30am, three lanes are given for vehicles heading to Colombo to ease the traffic congestion on the Galle Road and the van had gone on the fourth lane.
The van was heading to Colombo from Moratuwa and was transporting school children between the ages of 10 and 13. It crashed into a bus plying in the 155 route heading to Soysapura.

The accident caused injuries to school children from Ananda College, Nalanda College, Thurstan College, Vishaka Vidyalaya, Gothami Balika Vidyalaya and St. Lawrence’s School.  

The front of the vehicle was completely damaged due to the accident. Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said that the driver had been using a temporally license for seven months, from the time he passed his trial.  

“We are looking into the possibility of taking action against the owner of the van for allowing a youngster to drive the van very carelessly to transport school children,” he said. 

A senior official of the Mount Lavinia Traffic Branch said the van had been in an unserviceable condition and was not fit to transport school children. Heavy traffic prevailed on the Galle Road for nearly an hour due to the collision.  

The residents of the area rushed to the scene and evacuated the injured from the wreckage and rushed them to the Colombo South Hospital. 

Director of the Kalubowila General Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said five of the children were discharged after OPD treatment and three others, two of them including a girl is in critical condition and were under treatment. He said the driver had sustained head injuries. (Supun Dias)

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  Comments - 83

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  • loku Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:08 PM

    Let's face the truth: the majority of drivers in this country violate road rules most of the time: they overtake when they should be patient; they shift lanes so as to get ahead of the fellow or gal in front; they blast their horns to show their selfish impatience. And buses on Galle Road--for that matter, almost everywhere--go too fast, they race to get to the next halt first, etc etc etc.

    Socrates Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:10 PM

    These uneducated fools don't understand the value of what they carry inside their vehicle. They never know what the road discipline is. They drive in the roads like if they are carrying potatoes. Most of the school vans are more than 15-20 years old and they charge a fairly big amount from the parents.

    naleer Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:25 PM

    Only harsh punishment will minimize crime / offence

    Shelton Fernando Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:34 PM

    License should be withheld at least for 10 years for this type of offence apart from a jail sentence.

    O fernando Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:41 PM

    In the western world school children are considered as most precious and they are protected in every turn they take leave alone the school bus service.These buses are run by city approved companies and they are subject to many laws imposed by the city. Specially the drivers are vetarans and they are specially trained for the job.
    Our able defense secretary can easily implement this in Sri Lanka the way that he does many cleanup in a similar manner that is happening in the states.
    Every dick tom and harry drives school buses in Sri Lanka and these drivers are the one who cannot find gainful empolyment and the easy way find a job is to drive a school bus after obtaining the lience by hook or crook and by bribing.
    This has to stop forworthwith Sir.

    Bogambara Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:42 PM

    It is high time to take an action against indiscipline driving which we experience everyday. I have seen fast driving school vans on the Kandy road and low level road. Unfortunately traffic police are blind. If steps will not be taken, more accidents could be seen in future.

    Prageeth Wednesday, 18 January 2012 04:54 PM

    why can't the government to bring and pass a bill to stop all mini vans like these for school transportation, and introduce safer more standardised vehicles. this's not the first time that such event occurred.

    sorry I forgot, there is NO one in our education system to be proactive or reactive!!- this is Sri of no other... miracle of Asia...poor me & innocent students...


    Pissu Drivers.... Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:19 PM

    it high time authorities make standard for school vans. How many childrean have to die for us to open our eyes. We have give duty free permits for ministers. Why not give duty free status for school vans that are registered with authories as school van. Paint them in YELLOW or RED

    How many more people have to die....for authorities to ensure our drivers know how to obey lane behavior. There is no quality learning centers any way in this country

    Sompala Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:25 PM

    interesting to see the action to be taken.. serious flaw in the system if a young inexperienced driver is responsible for the lives of innocent children.. does the driver have a political or police backing?

    Fair N Square Wednesday, 18 January 2012 05:28 PM

    Most of the school service vans are NOT road worthy... They need to be taken off the streets... The drivers also drive like maniacs coz they want to drop off one set of children and then rush back to get the second set before time....Actually its a mafia by itself.. They load about 23 or more kids in a 15 seater van and the safety of kids is not a concern to the drivers or even the authorites... If violence against children is a crime and child abuse.. This too is part of the crime... I had to take off my daughter off one such van and he triied to stop all other van drivers to accomodate my child. I had a hard time finding another driver..

    A disgusted parent..

    gamunu Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:01 PM

    Present driving test is merely to pass the test. It is not to help drivers improve their skills after they pass. Most drivers in the country wants only to get from destination A to B. How they get there safely is another matter to them. That is why so many of them make such dangerous manoeuvres putting lives at risks. This is an endemic problem in srilanka. Is there an answer to this? I wonder!!

    kugan Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:38 PM

    can anyone do 80-100 kmph on galle road in rush hour

    sangaralingham Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:59 PM

    he should be banned from driving one year and sit a driving exam before resuming his driving

    sam Wednesday, 18 January 2012 08:59 PM

    Tell me about it!! Buses in this route don't travel at all but crawl. Lucky kids! otherwise the damage would be HUGE!!!!!!

    sam Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:04 PM

    OK!! don't bring the education here. U don't need a PhD to be a safe driver but patient, discipline and common sense.

    BADA-UDA GEMMBA Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:28 PM

    You are a real 'SEMA' case keeping up with your name!!!

    terence Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:58 PM

    What are the cops doing? Are the speed guns only limited to the E01 highway.?

    Very poor patrolling of roads by the Police.
    They are only nabbing Uturn culprits and pocketing the money.

    PM Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:12 PM

    About time, we do something before more and more people get killed by these unskilled and untrained drivers! Anyone who exceeds the speed limits and ignore the road rules should be heavily fined and or revoke their drivers license. If the authorities don't crack down on this soon, it will only get worse and we will lose many precious lives!

    Analysis Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:27 PM

    Authorities should take the owner to task for transporting school children or passengers in a vehicle not fit for road. Throw the law book hard against the driver for recklass driving and causing injuries to passengers, particualrly minors. Everybody in Sri Lanka should learn to respect traffic rules, if not the carnage would no doubt continue on roads.

    Push Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:23 PM

    At this time I travel in the opposite direction. It is my daily experience that private buses and school vans "Race" on the fourth lane to Colombo. I have seen policemen keeping a blind eye on those acts and it seems that police are not bothered. Most of the officers on the road are on their cell phones texting and talking.

    Human Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:08 AM

    I am told the extended lane is the fourth is a fourth lane. Obviously Galle Road has 3 lanes to each side at Mount.. Even I take the fourth lane. Mount Police you need to mark the fourth lane with cones and the drivers is too inexperienced to drive a school van. Also almost all school vans use Rs. 1,500 low quality break pad as against Rs. 3,500 good quality break pads and we know the breaking distance is twice for the bad ones.

    Human Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:18 AM

    And most break shoes are the cheapest you can buy and the breaking distance is twice.

    Lanka Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:23 AM

    Hate to say that some of these drivers are not fit to drive even a Bullock Cart !

    civic minded Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:34 AM

    Start with the employer. A whipper snapper who has no responsibility to his own life and the necessary experience, being given the responsibility of taking charge of other people's children should be taken to task first, to avoid such occurrences in the future. Even this is too much to expect in this country, where standards are not understood and easily compromised, if there is a buck to be made.

    aruna Thursday, 19 January 2012 01:33 PM

    Agreed. They crawl. one day a 155 pvt bus after stopping at Town hall for 10 good minutes all of a sudden started to go only to find that the CTB bus flew past it . You would n't believe this: the driver went to the next colourlight at Barnes place junction and realising that he cannot catch the CTB bus took a left turn and came back to the Town hall bus stand again and stayed there for another 10 minutes...! Lucky kids indeed.

    perera Thursday, 19 January 2012 02:10 AM

    parents spend extra to send their children to school on time and safely and see what happens? school van transport should be more regulated and owners/employers should also he held responsible. these vans are over crowded with little children squeezed in wherever possible. it was said that this driver was racing with another van starting from moratuwa. so what wass the traffic police upto mt lavinia doing? and ,semasinghe' if one wantsto enjoy a fast and furious ride one should engage in car racing on a suitable track not on a public road risking everyone!

    ST Thursday, 19 January 2012 02:24 AM

    Semasinghe, our country has too many insensitive human beings just like yourself. Hence the present ghastly situation in every sphere. This is not a matter to be joked upon. If its was your child you would not be passing ridiculous comments like this. I hope people like you don't have children. Such responsible people don't deserve them.

    Hosni Thursday, 19 January 2012 02:37 AM

    @ Semasinghe...ha ha i think you are insane..we are commenting about an accident & not a driver who enjoyed a furious ride...

    ranjith Thursday, 19 January 2012 02:44 AM

    In this case God knows who is at fault. But there are n number of school vans driven by drivers who seem to be not qualifies for the job. I'm sure the police with its minimum resources as we know.. can still do a good clean up for the sake of safety of school children.

    aayako Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:00 AM

    A moronosaurus.

    Bandu Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:05 AM

    police should answer how can people drive vehicle in galle road same as highway,all ways police waiting to get some thing to their hand,they never care about the civilience

    ampare son Thursday, 19 January 2012 02:44 PM

    most school van not suitable for children. at least western provincial council have to look this matter.

    LenkaCT Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:12 AM

    It is sad to say there is no speed limit signs what so ever in Colombo district anyway. And sad to say police does not check on the speed of vehicles at all. They check on drunk drivers standing next to five star hotels only. Police needs to have speed limit signs and check on speeding drivers too.

    sriyaniusa Friday, 20 January 2012 06:37 AM

    You are exactly correct, provincial council or more higher authorities are there to look, no proper management give more rubish to to nationa and poor people suffer a lot. And police are ruin peoples money, never ever check vechicals are good for road transportation???? What a stupid talking are there for protect people..

    Faizee Faizel Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:22 AM

    How long to we continue ... how many more accidents ... The authorities concern with police must have a close tab on drivers of such vehicles including buses that carry innocent lives ... (simple rule : no one unless he/she has minimum three years driving experience and with no previous offences must be allowed to drive such school vans)

    Mrs. Perera Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:24 AM

    All School vans should have limited number of children, they van carry about 30 children & make big money, but do not check the vehicle's condition... there should be a rule for these van fellows & need to sue them !!! poor children have to face it all !!!

    Nodrog Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:35 AM

    Just having traffic cops standing in certain locations is not enough. We seriously need to have cops patrolling the roads, specially during rush hours. Thats why they are given bikes, jeeps and cars and not for taking their kids to school and wives to work etc. This way more offenders can be nabbed before they cause death and damage.

    mansam Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:37 AM

    Are u insane or stupid?

    Ali Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:43 AM

    If I am correct the Van No. 250.xxxx, there are much older Van used for School service, according to the eye witness the Van was trying to overtake another Van, Some drivers do not like or allow others to over take them , other Van driver also partly responsible for this accident.

    gajan99 Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:47 AM

    Poor driver.

    SMS Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:56 AM

    You should be in mental hospital , nut case .. Do you have kids ? I pray no to have kids for you ever.

    Dil Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:00 AM

    Daya i fully agree with you, they add extra lanes in most of the roads without any color cone to separate the lanes even in the Roundabouts they allow to go on the wrong side. The worst is most of the drivers take this as a advantage and do this even when Police is not on duty.

    Rishan Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:53 AM

    you must be driving along at that time, who cares. But when you have passengers like school childrens you have to be more responsible . School /office vans should be given the same bus lane.

    Also unserviceable condition vans should be scrapped from service .

    Also need to include a woman passenger in all school vans.

    azath Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:58 AM

    Two issues worth noting
    1. How come all the kids coming from Moratuwa passing about 100 schools to colombo this is a pretty common problem over to you education Minister.
    2. registering the school service vans and driver with special training.

    Ajith Thursday, 19 January 2012 03:58 AM

    On a big picture, i guess we need to look at developing Schools around the communities.. Parents try hard to put kids in good schools, even though kids had to travel a distance. If the schools are good and easy to get admission within the closest areas, there wont be high speed mistakes like this.. Our Education and School System has to improve a lot....Just think, how many schools emerged big and famous in the recent past? Its still the old schools with big names, where we want our kids to educate...

    mohan Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:10 AM

    time to brink minimum age for public transport drivers , may 25 like most western and minimum of 3 years driving experience like most western counties

    emasinghe Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:10 AM

    Why didn't you yet?

    Mohamed Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:33 AM

    Van driver & owner should be punished for there irresponsibility, May Allah give quick recover to those children.

    willows Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:34 AM

    101% agree with you, road to Kawdana aththidiya from gall road some days, closed and some days open and the sign still says no right turn for people traveling to Colombo, and the nearby cop direct some to take the right turn, and I saw some one on the second lane to Colombo took an immediate right turn seeing the cop allowing to turn right????

    Javed Ahsan Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:27 AM

    Traffic arrangements have been much improved in Colombo. An extra mile is needed; i.e., new regulations should be considered for all kind of private transporters like school van, office commuting vans, cabs, and no doubt great violation champions, the 3-wheelers

    Just Another Citizen Thursday, 19 January 2012 04:46 AM

    School vans & buses only want to make money, they are not bothered about safety.

    Oyage sudu kella Thursday, 19 January 2012 05:16 AM

    Aiyo.... may be the young driver thought it is 'night racing' !!!

    buffaloa citizen Thursday, 19 January 2012 05:33 AM

    In simple terms we are uncivilised.

    sajitha Thursday, 19 January 2012 05:44 AM

    Are you some kind of a wiero? if you say "in your young days", I guess you are old now.. too bad you are not dead. People who are stupid like you deserved to be under the hill than over the hill

    Guzban Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:01 AM

    School van drivers must have maturity. There should be some sort of eligibility to drive a vehicle catering to more than 10 people, at the least a heavy vehicle licence. While many drivers are mature at 21, many are still too young and hotblooded to deal with the responsibility of dealing with other's lives. This job was too much responsibility for this driver. The owner of the vehicle should definitely be charged. Traffic cops must carry out random checks of vehicle suitability specially for schoolvans and other public transport vehicles.

    Sunil Jay Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:13 AM

    Vans are most dangerous next to 3 Wheelers.

    Police must check more RANDOM checks on vans and punish heavily.

    Is the Police doing their job properly.I doubt??

    THis has to be properly addressed by Defence Secreatry-
    In the interest of the public he must pull ot his stafff on the Galle road more frequently to see the reckless driving vehicles.


    Asoka Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:22 AM

    How come children form moratuwa going to schools in colombo. education minister this is to you.

    malintha Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:26 AM

    "A senior official of the Mount Lavinia Traffic Branch said the van had been in an unserviceable condition "...wonder who issued the vehicle registration for 2012?

    Goodwill Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:24 AM

    Speed thrills, but kills, i read it some where and it is true. may be the driver was trying to show his colors to girls in.

    we pray fro all kids to get well soon with complete health and return home soon. We ask not the government(no point), but the schools parent comity/ some form to take care of transport and standard of them.

    saman Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:28 AM

    Mr,Commissioner RMV
    this is the time to change your rules at a cost of innocent children lives.No license issue below 30 years for buses Trucks and school van drivers. Also make the rules for height,weight and eyesight also. then you can many accidents in future.Otherwise we are talking nonsense and no action .we forget this in few days.

    Nihal Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:37 AM

    they dont have any discipline at all ,Privat bus drivers are involved most the accident all over Sri Lanka.they are very ridicules and uncivilised.have to make high fine for all this idiot then they will learn.but our GOV is a fraid for this provat bus drivers are right
    buffaloa citizen
    In simple terms we are uncivilised..

    bernard Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:40 PM

    Well said!

    S. Anagath Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:36 AM

    Wonder of Asia how come a 16 year old rickety vehicle passed the emission and roadworthy test. The parents must also take the blame for not checking the background of the operator and driver. How can they trust a 21 year old thrill seeker

    semasinghe Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:42 AM

    Friends.. thanx for your comments.. Good driver should be a fast one too ..means even though they drive fast they never hurt anyone, never cause accidents too. get the point friends. What is most important is keep your mind on road.. Then you can drive fast but no accidents...

    rukshan Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:45 PM

    its onemore accident only .

    kumaraya Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:45 PM

    If the police do as done in other countries and come down really hard on every traffic offender, these disasters will not happen

    Lanka Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:48 AM

    It will be a good idea to introduce school buses to specific school so vans could be eliminated and the parents will be saving some bucks as well as less vehicles on the streets.

    Ramesh Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:46 PM

    The parents should take their children to school by themselves, regardless of how busy they are. Or atleast they should check the licenses of the driver before asking their son/daughter to get in the school van. Otherwise we will see more fate like this. There are nobody to safeguard the working/middle class.

    S. Anagath Thursday, 19 January 2012 06:49 AM

    Oh dear don't you know initially all of them were residing within half a KM of these popular schools in Colombo and now living in Moratuwa and beyond. Haven't you seen the boards on school vans parked near these schools indicating from where they originate. Another wonder.

    Giniwelle Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:48 PM

    Why the Police do not check these vans same way they check vegetable transporters. The Driver has temporary license and the van is 16 years old !
    Are the vagetables worth more than the lives of children ?

    Sam Thursday, 19 January 2012 07:03 AM

    The license of this driver has to be cancelled and charge sheeted. There should be speed limits for school vans, buses, trishaws and motocyclists and police should enforce the rule practiced on Colombo - Negombo road and comobo Kandy road where the above categories have to travel on the extrem left side of the road. Also, the police by allowing to create a 2nd or 3rd lane has resulted in people getting used to creating a 2nd and 3rd lane, even when cops are not around. so peoplle take it for granted they can break the rules as they please

    lankashantha Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:06 PM

    No one will believe that 155 bus to be a speed one. This is the slowest route bus in all of Sri Lanka and stops at every possible chance to pick passengers. Colombo campus students will agree with this. It is time for to start vehicle scraping plant.
    Send all those school service vans which are nor roadworthy.

    ajitha Thursday, 19 January 2012 07:03 AM

    I blame partly the Police too and also our laws. We are "kind" to road offenders. If one child was killed what a clamity thank god they were saved. I think before the next one happens Police ,must arrest any driver who drives like crazy. If only the Police is watchful and vigilant soon after scholl closing times and early morning they can catch so many offenders.
    They wait to catch the motor car drivers but the biggest violators are Vans,Buses, Three wheelers and Motor cycles.

    W.Ranjith De Silva Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:14 PM

    Not only the driver, but also the the owner of the Van should be punished to give such young fellow the responsibilities of young lifes.

    semasinghe Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:22 PM

    Young driver might have enjoyed a fast and furious ride..
    I too in my early days drove so.. Luckily no accidents took place ;-)

    manik Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:29 PM

    All vehicles that exceed speed limits within city limits should be charged. We see some bus drivers try to beat each other on Galle road very often. Traffic Police DO SOMETHING.

    nipuna seneviratnene Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:26 PM

    This type of drivers using school transport is seen everyday using the road as their own and speeding by ignoring traffic rules. There must be an end to this saga. Authorities do something only during days something happened and forget very easily.
    Are there any body or any regulating authority to control this road mafia and reckless driving specially school service, private buses and three wheelers?

    Aristotle Wednesday, 18 January 2012 02:44 PM

    It is high time the authorities bring sanity to the roads. These vans are the most dangerous on the roads followed by the buses and the three wheelers. Not to mention some of the gentlemen drivers in tie.

    Khalid Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:06 PM

    specially vehicles transporting school children s should be controlled by an authority and have a strict control over the transport system,

    Noah Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:11 PM

    What??? did u read the article?

    sundar Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:42 PM

    interducing a metro system linking the greater colombo area and the colombo city and stop extra vehicles including bus and van entering colombo to minimize the traffic will be a solution for this problem.

    lk Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:24 PM

    i thaught it was only Pvt buses & 3 wheelers. now school vans too??

    Daya Wednesday, 18 January 2012 03:22 PM

    He may be wrong. But nobody accept the grave danger pose by police themselves. They are randomly altering the lanes and diverting the traffic. No sign post at distance to inform the motorist. Also they signal vehicles to travel on conflicting direction. I saw many times drivers near miss the accident. First you educate this idiots how to do traffic police job. Voice against this stupid act.

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