Risky transport for school children puts parents in a spot

File photo of Satish jadhav
Date of Publishing in Dainik Jagran Cityplus: 2011-06-17 00:00:00.0

Parents have been facing problems in finding safe transport for their wards nowadays. Auto-rickshaws, vans and school buses are the modes of transport available in the city but most of these vehicles are 10 to 15-year-old and unsafe for commuting.
Parents dread to send their children to school in these vehicles but are forced to do so due to unavailability of a safer option. One of the parents Inderjeet Singh said, “For a few years, the city has been witnessing many school bus accidents and many innocent children have lost their lives due to the negligence of the drivers. The transporters do not follow RTO norms as well. And most of the vehicles used for boarding schoolchildren are more than 10 to 15-year-old.”
Riyaz Shaikh, another parent said, “Many parents like me prefer sending their children by autos and vans, but they aren’t safe, as the autos and vans carry more than the specified number of the children at a time, but there is no other option.”
Deputy RTO Sanjay Raut informed, “The state government has framed a new set of rules under the Motor Vehicles Act, 2011 allowing private vans with a seating capacity of maximum 12 children to be used as school buses. We have sent the circular to all the schools operational in Navi Mumbai limits to adhere the norms. We are trying our level best to implement these norms in the buses to drive safely as the children are on board. Some of the schools have hired private vans and mini buses looking after the safety of the children. The school buses must follow the norms mentioned in the policy to safeguard the life of the children otherwise legal action will be taken against them.”
He added, “The autowallahs are strictly warned to take only 5 children at a time to drop them to school. If the autowallahs are seen not following the norms they will be fined and restricted. Parents should prefer sending their child through school buses, mini buses, vans which are given the permission and are seen following the norms, they must not rely on autos as they are risky and some of them ply without permissions.”
S V Dhivre, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) informed, “To ensure the safety of the children, we in-coordination with RTO and schools have been organising various awareness camps for the school teachers, students, bus drivers, attendants and contractors”.
For school buses

  • Buses should have the words ‘School Bus’ written on the front and rear.
  • If they are contracted by a school, the words ‘On School Duty’ should be displayed.
  • They should have a first-aid kit.
  • A fire extinguisher should also be placed in every bus.
  • Windows should have protective grills, not just a couple of bars.
  • There should be space beneath seats to accommodate school bags.
  • The name of the school and its telephone number should be mentioned on the bus.
  • At no time, should the number of students exceed the seating capacity.
  • The bus driver should have a minimum five years of driving experience.
  • The driver should have no criminal record.

—Jaspal Singh Naol

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1 Comment

  1. Good Move by the govt. however some things need to verified in the judgement. vehicles over 10 years not allowed. If they are not allowed to ferry students whose average weight is 1/2 compared to an adult would it not mean that the vehicle in concern is not even safe to carry adults to that capacity. Most of the vehicles ferrying students do so for the younger age group. The Senior students travel on their own or walk it out. A kid on an average occupies 1/2 the space of an adult so a 3 seater for an adult will accommodate 4/5 small kids easily. which will not amount to the total weight of 3 adults. The BEST buses which many students take don’t have even half of the mandatory facilities does that mean that BEST buses will not be allowed to ferry students. The age of best buses are much older than 15 years though which means that the buses are not safe even for the common man. Verification of the driver is important however not the end line for taking the fall since many accidents happen without the fault of the drive whether private or public. Tankers and Dumpers by and large are some of the dangerous vehicles on the road as of now however the police is never able to enforce the law since most of them are owned by local politicians or goons. The emergence of LPG / CNG have led to many accidents of vehicles exploding or catching fire – A case study on such incidents in the petrol run era compared to alternative unsafe fuels will provide the facts. Female attendant is required for all purposes in the bus. What about male students – they are also abused on a large scale in today’s world. The services as required can be provided however how does one justify the cost involved. In my case where the school monthly fees are 250 and the bus fees amount to 800/- to 1000/- how can the logic be explained and how will a parent digest the same – Bus fee 3/4 times the school fees. How will the govt tackle such issues. The responsibility belongs to the parent to ensure that their kid reaches safely to school. Sending their kids by school bus does not guarantee against accidents it may be a deterrent which will help in some way. A sumo or maruti van does not mean that it is unsafe. The driver needs to be careful and also other vehicles on the road. A permit for private vehicles needs to be in place to ensure checks A 35 seater bus takes a whole 2 hrs early for the 1st kid picked so by the time the kid reaches school he is already exhausted. Adults get exhausted by a 1 hour journey how will kids adjust.

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