After several accidents involving school vans and delay of more than two and a half years when the proposal was first mooted, the Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved a policy and scheme for regulating school cabs. There are 12-15 thousand such vans which transport over a lakh school children everyday.
The new policy comes with strict riders to ensure the safety of the school children. Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said from now on only registered school cabs would be entitled to transport the children to school.
"The new scheme is open to existing as well as new un-registered private motor vehicles plying only on clean fuel and installed with prescribed speed governors and complying all other safety measures prescribed in the scheme," she said.
The vehicles under the scheme should be less than 15 years old, should be certified fit by the transport authorities and are required to pay the requisite fee and taxes. The school cabs would have readily identifiable horizontal strip in the middle of golden yellow colour and would be registered under a new series - DL 1K.
These registered school cabs would be able to operate as ordinary transport vehicle when not transporting school children. The carrying capacity of the school cab shall be limited to one and half times of the seating capacity stated in registration certificate.
The vehicle must have a display board mentioning school cab inscribed with bold black letters on golden yellow background. It should have a carrier on the roof for storage of school bags and must carry a register of school children with full details, including telephone numbers.
Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said safety of the school children is of prime concern for the government. He said the drivers under this scheme would be required to undergo driver training, including refresher course.
The vehicle should ensure that it does not exceed the speed limit of 40 kmph and should be equipped with a first-aid box, a fire extinguisher, flashing lights affixed to the top four corners on the exterior of the school cab which shall be activated when the cab is stopped.
The other requirements for the school cab includes display of transport helpline numbers. Number of other measures relating to safety have been redefined.
Yusuf said the department would soon notify the scheme and ask the vehicle owners to get their school cabs registered for plying in the city.