New Delhi: Delhi government on Thursday issued fresh guidelines on plying of school buses, introducing stricter measures for ensuring safety of students. The new guidelines came two days after a five-year-old girl of Air Force School, Subroto Park, was killed when a speeding van ferrying students turned turtle after colliding with a car. The van, a private vehicle, was plying without the required permit.
As per the guidelines, only drivers having five years of experience will be allowed to drive school buses and vans. Any driver who is challaned more than twice in a calendar year on account of certain violations like overtaking, jumping of red light and violating parking regulations will not be allowed to drive school buses.
Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said drivers will have to wear a uniform of grey trousers and jacket and they must display their identity card visibly while driving the vehicles. The name of the owner of the vehicle must also figure in the card. He said anybody challaned or charged with offenses like overspeeding, drunken driving or driving dangerously or booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder will not be allowed to drive a school vehicle.
Further, school buses must display prominently that they are being used for ferrying school children. Goswami said all the school buses must have folding doors and each vehicle should have a conductor with a valid license. The bus must carry a copy of the valid agreement with the educational institute and complete list of the school children showing their names, classes, residential addresses and points of embarkation and dis-embarkation.
Further, the buses owned by the schools must be painted in golden-yellow colour. The buses shall be equipped with convex cross view mirrors by which the driver can see the exit and entry doors. The bus must be equipped with a first-aid box, fire extinguisher and must have provision for bag racks.
Last year, the government had asked each school to appoint a school bus in-charge for overseeing the bus operation and ensure that children on board the vehicles reach their destinations safely. The government had asked the schools to appoint a conductor with a valid license by September 30 last year for all the buses in addition to the attendant. But the order was hardly implemented by the schools.
The Supreme Court had set specific guidelines for plying of school buses which included fitting of horizontal grills on windows of the vehicles. As per the guidelines, all such vehicles must have a first-aid box and the doors of the bus should be fitted with reliable locks. There must be an attendant from the school in the bus. The speed of the vehicles has already been fixed at 40 km per hour and a driver in violation of the speed limit will first be issued notices while a second time offence would attract cancellation of the driving licence.