Safety checks in school bus management is assuming greater importance after freak accidents involving the children. Under section 17 of the Motor Vehicles Act experienced drivers must drive the bus. The students should be accompanied with an escort and if possible a teacher should accompany them. Apart from the above, the bus operators have also been directed to fix an iron grill on the window panes. The speed limit for school buses has been fixed at 40 km/per hour. Further, it is highly mandatory for all the school buses carrying students to display a board in block letters “School Bus” both in the front side and at rear end of the vehicle. However, if any school hires or engages any private bus for student’s transportation then it should mention on school duty in a prominent place. The driver and the cleaner should have an ID card and wear uniform as well. Just by accepting token clearance certificate the buses should not ply on the roads carrying children. Age old buses should be used to transport children. School bus needs an assistant driver in case of an emergency. Proper care should be taken to see that the vehicle can ply on roads or not. The May end deadline should be adhered to avoid major mishaps when schools reopen after the summer vacation.
S. Akhilesh Krishnan
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)