In an effort to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, the regional transport authority (RTA) will take action against schools that have not fitted CCTV cameras on school buses despite the district administration directing the latter to do so.
Following a Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) order, the administration directed all private schools on September 3 to install at least two CCTV cameras in buses with digital recording and zoom and tilt features. But, even after several reminders, some schools have not followed the orders, officials said.
To ensure that schools follow the orders, the RTA has been conducting surprise inspections of school buses and issuing challans. Additionally, the department will not let buses without cameras pass the annual fitness test.
“Only a few schools have not installed cameras on their buses. We have fined them and conducted surprise checks too. Within a week, all school buses will have CCTV cameras installed,” said Bharat Bhushan, assistant secretary, RTA.
The administration also told schools to store footage for six months. A woman attendant should be deployed on school buses with girl students. Additionally, schools need to submit a report detailing the number of buses with registration numbers, mobile numbers of drivers and attendants, and route map of each bus.
The directive also stated that a school bus driver should have at least five years of experience and should not exceed the speed limit of 50kmph. To ensure that bus drivers follow the speed limit, school managements were told to install speed governors. The administration had also asked schools to allocate parking space for buses.
In the absence of dedicated parking space for school buses, drivers have been parking the heavy vehicles along roads and open spaces such as green belts and vacant plots. Sometimes, this disrupts traffic flow.