The Regional Transport Authority (RTA)will hold a meeting on Monday with all schools to discuss norms with regard to the playing of school buses. The department will launch a crackdown on operators whose buses flout safety norms while plying on city roads, putting the safety of children on board at risk. The drive will start on Monday and the RTA has given schools time till then to comply with the safety rules.
The transport authority will meet representatives of all private schools across the city on Monday and instruct them to upgrade their vehicles with vital installations as per the norms listed under the Surakshit School Vahan Policy.
“We have sent notices to all the schools and attendance at the meeting is compulsory. The parents are free to call in with complaints of schools flouting norms and we will take prompt actio,” Trilok Chand, secretary, RTA, said.
“The schools will have to submit the contract carriage bus permit to the RTA office for buses hired from the contractors. The RTA officials will check the fitness of these buses and put them through a physical test at the passing ground,” Chand said.
The schools will be advised to focus on taking care of the safety of students travelling in buses.
“The responsibility of students travelling in school bus lies with the school authorities and not on the contractors. The drivers shall be subjected to medical fitness by the civil surgeon of the district and should be in uniform while on duty. The Surakshit School Vahan Policy lists some basic norms that school buses must meet. These include CCTV cameras in buses with storage of footage for 15 days, speed governors, contact numbers posted clearly at the front and back of buses, ensure plying of yellow-coloured buses, reflective strips and presence of a lady attendant in the bus,” Chand said.
The police will also be asked to ensure that the drivers have at least 5 years driving experience and should not have been challaned more than three times.
A fitness certificate from the civil surgeon is also required, said officials. Also, the concerned bus operator should have RTA clearance certificate, insurance and pollution certificate for his vehicle. The schools will have to ensure a parking facility inside the school complex and the students will only be allowed to board or alight within the premises.
Officials said that if residents notice any irregularities with the playing of school buses, they can approach the RTA directly. “The district administration will also conduct monthly meetings on road safety and the time and place of the meetings will be advertised in newspapers. The residents who want to raise issues surrounding violations could also be a part of such meetings. Any issue related to road safety and school buses will be discussed,” Chand said.