It was reassuring to know that the State HRD minister of Jharkhand – Hon’ble Geetashree Oraon conducted a surprise raid on school buses at 6 am in Ranchi to check if safety norms were being followed. Not surprisingly, she found that these buses were ‘overloaded, appalling, inhuman and dangerous’.
(source – http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140506/jsp/jharkhand/story_18312001.jsp#.U99EFvmSy9V)
Wouldn’t it be great if lawmakers and law enforcement agencies showed the same enthusiasm and sense of ownership all across the country? But that remains a distant dream as of now. So, the big question is, as parents whose children use school transport, is a prayer to the Almighty our only option?
The gruesome death of a young kindergarten student in Jalandhar, Punjab has shocked the collective consciousness of the city and once again highlighted the apathy of the school authorities and law enforcement agencies.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has issued guidelines for school buses. At your next meeting with the school authorities, please demand that these norms are strictly followed.
Attention all parents and responsible citizens : please know and assert your rights. If educational institutes can charge as much as they like for transport facilities, we have the right to demand the safety of our school going children.
Please note that as per law, you as a parent, are entitled to check and travel in the school bus to ensure that the norms are being followed.
Safety Specifications for School Buses in India –
1. There must be appropriate permit for the vehicle issued by competent authority as
‘passenger transport vehicle’.
2. School Buses must be painted yellow.
3. “School Bus” must be written on the front and back of every bus. ‘On School Duty’ must be written in case of a hired vehicle on the back and front of every vehicle
carrying school children.
4. Windows of the bus should be fitted with horizontal grills.
5. There should be a fire extinguisher in the bus.
6. The doors of the bus should be fitted with reliable locks.
7. To keep the school bags safely, there should be space fitted under the seats.
8. Parents/Guardians/Teachers may also travel in the bus to ensure these safety norms are being followed.
9. As per Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, an educational institution bus is a transport vehicle and therefore requires a permit to ply on the road. Being a transport vehicle it would also need to undergo mandatory fitness test every year, without which the permit cannot be renewed.
10. No such vehicle shall carry children in excess of its permitted seating capacity. No child should be allowed to sit on the lap of others, if any.
11. There must be a First-aid box and drinking water in the vehicle.
12. The buses should be fitted with a speed governor of a specified standard.
13. The seat belts, wherever applicable, must be fastened properly.
14. School name and telephone no. must be displayed.
15. Every vehicle for carrying school children must be driven by a driver who has minimum 5 years of experience in driving such categories of vehicles and must not have any record of previous traffic offences.
16. There must be an attendant in every such vehicle to ensure safe travel of the children and render adequate assistance for safe embarking and dis-embarking of the children.
(List has been compiled from various orders issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. If I have omitted something or if there are some latest amendments, please leave a comment along with the source of your information and we will update the list.)
Delhi Government Specifications can be downloaded by visiting this link – http://it.delhigovt.nic.in/writereaddata/Odr201352788.pdf or you can access the pdf file below –