Massive drive on rule violations from next week; safety & comfort of children our priority: Official
Regional Transport authorities have asked the school administrations across the valley to bring their transportation fleet in compliance with the Supreme Court guidelines, indicating that a massive drive to check for rule violations will begin next week.
A top official at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) Kashmir told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the move was taken as a result of several complaints received about violations on various grounds committed by school bus operators in the valley.
He said that after simplifying public transportation, a significant campaign to ensure the safety of school buses transporting children would begin next week.
“We have been receiving numerous complaints on violations and to check on that, a big push will be initiated from next week,” the official said, adding that the Supreme Court has put down certain criteria for educational institutions regarding the safety of school buses carrying children.
Although the educational institutions are already aware of the Supreme Court guidelines, our drive is aimed at ensuring that everyone follows the guidelines, he said, adding that the issue concerns the children’s safety and those found violating the guidelines should not expect any concessions.
“Those who are found violating the Supreme Court guidelines will be dealt with accordingly. However, no one should expect any concession on grounds that school children will suffer, and in that case, they should plan alternate arrangements,” the official said.
Mentioning some of the guidelines, he said the school bus should have a qualified attendant for children on the bus while boarding and deboarding them and the bus should be painted yellow.
As per the Supreme Court guidelines, the school buses should be written on the back and front of the bus. The school name and telephone number should also be written and if hired ‘On School Duty’ should be clearly indicated. It should have up-to-date documents like a vehicle permit, fitness certificate, insurance certificate, valid token tax receipt, PUCC, SLD certificate, and GPS certificate.
“School buses will be checked for the installation of speed limit devices as there is a specific and set speed limit for them,” the SC guidelines mention. “The bus should be fitted with a speed governor of specified standard with a maximum speed limit of 40 kph.”
Highlighting the Supreme Court guidelines for a driver, the official said the driver should have at least 5 years experience of driving Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) and carry a complete list of children.
“A driver challaned more than twice a year for red light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing unauthorized persons to drive, or challaned even once for over speeding, drunken and dangerous driving should not be employed,” he said.