Supreme Court issues new guidelines for school bus services

Supreme Court issues new guidelines for school bus services

Chandigarh:    Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, has laid down certain guidelines to be followed by  the enforcement and educational authorities with regard to safety of school buses carrying children.

 To comply with these directions the guidelines have been incorporated in permits issued to school buses by State Transport Authority, U.T., Chandigarh.  The Challaning Officers of State Transport Authority are enforcing these guidelines by carrying out checking of school buses from time to time.  State Transport Authority, U.T., Chandigarh has reiterated these guidelines and has issued instructions to all the Principals of Government & Private School,  Association of School Bus Operators and Association of the Private Schools. They have been advised to comply with the directions regarding school buses in letter and spirit keeping in view the safety of school going children.

The gist of the guidelines is summarized below:-

1.  School buses should be painted yellow.

2. School Bus must be written on the back and front of the bus.  IF it is hired bus, “on School Duty” should be clearly indicated. 3. Bus should have a First Aid Box.

4. Bus should be fitted with speed governor of specified  standard.

5. The windows of Bus should be fitted with horizontal grills.

6. There should be a fire extinguisher in the Bus.

7. School Name & Telephone No. must be written on the Bus.

8. The doors of the Bus should be fitted with reliable locks.

9. To keep the school bags safely, there should be a space  fitted under the seats.

10. There must be a qualified attendant in the Bus  to attend to Children.

11. Any parent or guardian sitting in the bus or a  teacher may also travel to ensure these safety norms.

12. The driver should have at least 5 years of experience of  driving heavy vehicles. 13. A driver who has been challaned more than twice in a year for offences like red light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing unauthorized person to driver cannot be employed.

14. A driver who has been challaned even once for the offence of over speeding, drunken driving and dangerous driving etc. cannot be employed.

 As per Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 an educational institution bus is a transport vehicle and therefore requires a permit to ply on the road.  Being a transport vehicle it would also need to undergo mandatory fitness test every year without which the permit cannot be renewed.

 They have been advised that the drivers of the school buses are required to maintain traffic discipline.  Any lapse on this account will invite stern action against the defaulters or violators of above instructions & will be challaned or prosecuted accordingly.

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