The tragic school-bus accident killing 24 school children and grievously injuring 30 others in Uttar Pradesh this morning made international news. It brings home the point of safety of school bus commutes. Beside disastrous loss of precious souls equally perilous is the state of kids aged between 3 to 12 who are in the hospital. We cannot even begin to fathom the state of the minds of parents.
Although it is a well established fact, one that is universally acknowledged by research studies that travel by school bus is the safest way for students to get to and from school, however in the given traffic conditions of our country we need to be so much more careful. Especially with regard to ensuring that trained and motivated professional drivers man these buses.
The incident drives home the point of school bus safety and stringent rules to be followed. School bus drivers must meet strictest training requirements to keep wards safe and sound while in their custody. HERD Transport, a division under HERD Foundation was created especially for safe bus-rides for students. We share the following mandate that guides our endeavor.
SCHOOL SAFETY RULES OF MAHARASHTRA
• There should be a separate committee for dealing with the issues related to school bus transportation. The committee should include School Principal, a PTA representative, bus administrator, police official, motor vehicle inspector, education inspector and all the relevant authorities
• School Principal should be responsible for school bus safety of students
• The school authorities should conduct a training regarding the usage of First Aid and fire extinguisher in the beginning of every academic year
• Every schools should appoint Traffic Wardens to administer traffic and assure safety of children during school hours
• There should be appropriate road markings and road signs near every schools with the permission from traffic police
• School authorities should make proper arrangements to ensure safe boarding of the school children from any vehicle
• All school bus drivers must undergo various health tests conducted by a qualified doctor
• Every school buses should possess insurance approved by a reputed insurance company
• A lady attendant should be there in every school buses for the safety of girl students
• There should be a first¬aid ¬box with necessary medicines and equipment in every school buses
• Every school buses should have details about students along with their contact numbers for handling emergency situations
• No seats that block the emergency doors shall be permitted
• School buses shall not carry children more than the specified capacity of the buses
• No music shall be played inside the school bus
• No smoking or alcohol consumption by the school bus staffs
• Doors of the school bus must be closed while it is in motion