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Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 12:28 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:28 AM (IST)CABINET MEET

Strict norms for school bus drivers

Govt will also come up with amendments to Motor Vehicles Rules
Strict norms for school bus drivers
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur at the Cabinet meeting in Shimla on Monday. Tribune photo

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 16

Following the school bus mishap in which 24 children died in Nurpur last week, the Transport Department on Monday formulated strict guidelines which will enable parents to monitor the movement of the vehicle as the global positioning system (GPS) and CCTV cameras will have to be installed in every vehicle engaged in ferrying schoolchildren.

The Cabinet gave its nod to the exhaustive School Transport Safety Guidelines which will cover school-owned buses, government-hired buses and private taxis which are responsible for transportation of schoolchildren. The guidelines, prepared by a high-level committee, will be posted on the Transport Department website for public scrutiny for 15 days.

The department will shortly develop an app which will be integrated with the vehicle traffic system so that in case of overspeeding, the police station concerned and control room will get a signal. The school authorities will have to install CCTV cameras at the place where the vehicles are parked inside the school to keep a check on any objectionable activity like drinking, teasing or misbehaviour.

The government will come up with the necessary amendments to the Motor Vehicles Rules within 10 days so that these guidelines have a statutory backing. “A separate notification is also being issued for the setting up of two committees – at the district and subdivisional level — for the implementation of these guidelines,” said Ram Subhag Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Transport. These committees would be responsible for inspecting the vehicles and ensuring the implementation of the guidelines.

There are 21 general clauses to ensure the safety of schoolchildren. The speed limit for buses has been fixed at 40 km per hour, the age of the driver has to be below 60, his physical fitness record updated every year must be with the school management and there should be no overcrowding. A refresher training for driver has also been made compulsory. A school bus has to be painted yellow, grills on the windows, emergency exit door, a bell to be used as alarm in case of emergency, grey uniform for driver and he should have complete details along with contact numbers of parents of students travelling in his bus. There are 14 separate guidelines for the school management as well as for parents or guardians of students. The school will have to appoint a transport manager who will be the nodal person for the school transport safety and in case of girls’ schools, a female attendant will be mandatory in every bus. There are 11 guidelines for the privately hired vehicles.

The guidelines has a six-point advisory for parents so that they can press for strict adherence of the guidelines, whether it concerns the school or vehicle owners.

School buses to have GPS

  • Parents can monitor the movement of the vehicle as the GPS and CCTV cameras will have to be installed in every vehicle engaged in ferrying schoolchildren
  • Age of driver to be below 60 years and details of his medical fitness to be  with school 
  • Speed limit of buses fixed at 40 km per hour
  • Bus to be painted yellow with grills on windows

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