UT drafts policy for safe rides of schoolchildren | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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UT drafts policy for safe rides of schoolchildren

The UT administration has finally come up with a policy to ensure safe transportation of school students, in response to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s notice to the education department on the issue.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 14, 2015 12:32 IST
Aneesha Bedi

The UT administration has finally come up with a policy to ensure safe transportation of school students, in response to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s notice to the education department on the issue.

Taking a suo motu notice of the issue, the court had warned the UT education department last month “in case, a policy is not framed and notified within a fortnight, there would be no option but to seek the explanation and the presence of the secretary transport and DPI (schools)”.

Confirming the same, State Transport Authority (STA) in-charge Amit Talwar told HT on Sunday: “We have framed the essentials of the policy for safe transportation of students. Only some finishing touches need to be given.”

Education secretary Sarvjit Singh,said, “The policy will help streamline the system to ensure safe and comfortable journey of children to school.” Singh, who was also holding charge for secretary transport, when the policy was drafted initially, had said fresh guidelines would be issued, if the need be, keeping in mind the issue of safety of students.

There are as many as 800 school buses in the city.

Buses continue to violate guidelines

Acting on the order of the high court, the education department in May had framed guidelines regarding installation of GPS and CCTV cameras in buses, which were to be implemented starting July. It had also directed schools to employ female attendants.

STA additional secretary Rajiv Tiwari said; “We have been conducting regular inspections ever since and buses are challaned for various offences such as absence of attendant/lady attendant, uniform-related issues, non-provision of fire extinguisher in the bus.”

The proposals

The school authorities will be held responsible in case of any untoward incident and cannot absolve themselves of ensuring the safety of schoolchildren. This is regardless of whether the bus belongs to the school or the contractor.

The schools will have to make all arrangements, such as quality-check, manpower, requisite equipment etc.

It will the responsibility of the bus operators to ensure they recruit staff as per the precribed norms. The credentials of the driver and his crew/bus staff must be verified by the police.

A number of relievers/spare bus drivers (at least two) must be hired by the school.

The school must arrange a fresher course for the crew once every three years as prescribed by the transport department.

The attendants in the buses must be at least high school pass-outs and physically fit. At least one lady attendant in buses of all-girls schools and coeducational.

The bus driver must have five years of work experience, and should not have any criminal charges against him.

It is mandatory for the bus driver and his crew to carry a list of children travelling in the bus (Name, class, blood group, address) and route-map.

Adherence of norms under the Motor Vehicle Act, must be adhered to (speed limit, school logo, colour of the bus, driver’s fitness certificate).
GPS, cameras, first-aid box, fire extinguishers must be in working condition.

The windows of the bus must have horizontal bars and should not be tinted. No curtains are allowed.

Emergency exits are essential and students and staff must be able to operate these.

A school level committee comprising the school head, a police officer of the area and a representative of parent teacher association will monitor the same.

The state-level Road Safety Council must hold quarterly meetings to look into the functioning of school buses.

Chandigarh, UT administration, safe transportation, Punjab and Haryana High Court, State Transport AuthorityUT drafts policy for safe rides of schoolchildren

Aneesha Bedi
aneesha.bedi@hindustantimes.com

Chandigarh: The UT administration has finally come up with a policy to ensure safe transportation of school students, in response to the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s notice to the education department on the issue.

Taking a suo motu notice of the issue, the court had warned the UT education department last month “in case, a policy is not framed and notified within a fortnight, there would be no option but to seek the explanation and the presence of the secretary transport and DPI (schools)”.

Confirming the same, State Transport Authority (STA) in-charge Amit Talwar told HT on Sunday: “We have framed the essentials of the policy for safe transportation of students. Only some finishing touches need to be given.”

Education secretary Sarvjit Singh,said, “The policy will help streamline the system to ensure safe and comfortable journey of children to school.” Singh, who was also holding charge for secretary transport, when the policy was drafted initially, had said fresh guidelines would be issued, if the need be, keeping in mind the issue of safety of students.

There are as many as 800 school buses in the city.

Buses continue to violate guidelines

Acting on the order of the high court, the education department in May had framed guidelines regarding installation of GPS and CCTV cameras in buses, which were to be implemented starting July. It had also directed schools to employ female attendants.

STA additional secretary Rajiv Tiwari said; “We have been conducting regular inspections ever since and buses are challaned for various offences such as absence of attendant/lady attendant, uniform-related issues, non-provision of fire extinguisher in the bus.”

The proposals

The school authorities will be held responsible in case of any untoward incident and cannot absolve themselves of ensuring the safety of schoolchildren. This is regardless of whether the bus belongs to the school or the contractor.

The schools will have to make all arrangements, such as quality-check, manpower, requisite equipment etc.

It will the responsibility of the bus operators to ensure they recruit staff as per the precribed norms. The credentials of the driver and his crew/bus staff must be verified by the police.

A number of relievers/spare bus drivers (at least two) must be hired by the school.

The school must arrange a fresher course for the crew once every three years as prescribed by the transport department.

The attendants in the buses must be at least high school pass-outs and physically fit. At least one lady attendant in buses of all-girls schools and coeducational.

The bus driver must have five years of work experience, and should not have any criminal charges against him.

It is mandatory for the bus driver and his crew to carry a list of children travelling in the bus (Name, class, blood group, address) and route-map.

Adherence of norms under the Motor Vehicle Act, must be adhered to (speed limit, school logo, colour of the bus, driver’s fitness certificate).
GPS, cameras, first-aid box, fire extinguishers must be in working condition.

The windows of the bus must have horizontal bars and should not be tinted. No curtains are allowed.

Emergency exits are essential and students and staff must be able to operate these.

A school level committee comprising the school head, a police officer of the area and a representative of parent teacher association will monitor the same.

The state-level Road Safety Council must hold quarterly meetings to look into the functioning of school buses.