School vans to have new markings; can’t speed | delhi | Hindustan Times
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School vans to have new markings; can’t speed

The Delhi cabinet on Monday approved a policy to regularise school vans. But strict riders were put in to ensure the safety of the children they carry, reports Amitabh Shukla.

delhi Updated: May 01, 2007 01:15 IST

The Delhi cabinet on Monday approved a policy to regularise school vans. But strict riders were put in to ensure the safety of the children they carry.

Following the decision, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said henceforth only registered school vans would be entitled to transport children to school.

There has been increasing concern over the rising number of accidents involving school vans. There are around 12,000-15,000 such vehicles ferrying over one lakh children to school every day in the Capital.

The idea was first proposed in August 2004. “The new scheme is open to existing as well as new private motor vehicles, but only those plying on clean fuel, and equipped with prescribed speed governors and complying with all other safety measures prescribed in the scheme,” said Dikshit.

Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said the safety of schoolchildren was of prime concern for the government. He said the department would soon notify the scheme and ask vehicle owners to register their school vans under it.

To qualify as a school van under the new scheme, a vehicle will have to be less than 15 years old, and must be certified fit by transport authorities. To ensure that they are easily identifiable, all school vans will have to be painted golden yellow. They must have a display board with ‘School Cab’ inscribed on it in bold, black letters. The vans will also be registered under a new category — DL 1K.

The new registered school vans will be allowed to operate as ordinary transport vehicles when not transporting schoolchildren. The carrying capacity of the van will be limited to one-and-a-half times its seating capacity, as stated in the registration certificate. It should have a carrier on the roof to keep school bags and must maintain a register of the children it ferries, with complete details about them, including their telephone numbers.

Yusuf said all drivers of school vans would have to undergo special training, including a refresher course. They will have to observe a speed limit of 40 kmph.

The school vans must also be equipped with a first-aid box, a fire extinguisher, and lights on the four corners of its roof, which will come on whenever the vehicle halts. They should also display transport helpline numbers.