Ending the confusion over a school’s responsibility when it comes to school bus mishaps, the transport authorities on Monday clarified that schools are free of all liability as long as they have implemented the state’s school bus safety policy.
Regional transport office (RTO) authorities at Tardeo clarified this while addressing principals at a workshop on Monday.
The workshop comes in the wake of the alleged molestation of a nursery student on a bus of a Juhu school 10 days ago.
Many schools were worried that full culpability will lie with them in case of a mishap.
“In your mind the responsibility lies with the school, but it’s not like that,” said J Bansole, deputy regional transport officer, Tardeo RTO. “All stakeholders have to play their role.”
However, schools will be taken to task if they fail to follow specific responsibilities mandated in the policy such as setting up transport committees, a woman attendant and a first-aid kit.
“School bus safety is the collective responsibility involving schools and operators,” said CR Pathak, principal of HVB Academy in Marine Lines. “You can’t just pass it on from one to the other.”
Schools are responsible for setting up a transport committee with representatives from the school, transport and education department officials and local police. The committee has to meet once in three months. The RTO has also detailed responsibilities of bus operators and drivers.