Every weekday morning millions of parents place their beloved asset – their children” – on to a school bus, entrusting their safety to not only the school bus driver, but to the school transport system and the associated state agencies that govern the safe manufacture and operation of school buses.
Even without the use of seat belts, school buses are the safest method of transporting children safely to school, resulting in fewer injuries and death than driving in a car, walking or biking to school. Parents can send their children off to school each morning knowing they are in safe hands. But unfortunately, there are many school bus safety issues faced by students traveling by the school vehicle
This is the reason why Honorable Supreme Court of India and CBSE board of India have issued guidelines to safeguard children commuting by school buses. A preventive measure, the rule-book is to make both, school and parents proactive towards remedial measures towards the safe commutation of school children.
Following are the top 10 school bus safety rules which every parent should ensure, before sending their children to school by bus:
- School buses should be painted yellow. There should be a signpost of “School Bus” both, on the front and back of the bus along with the name of the school and its address. If it is a hired bus, “On School Duty” should be clearly visible.
- Details of the driver (name, address, license number, badge number), school contact number, transport department’s helpline number, vehicle registration number should be displayed at prominent places inside and outside the bus in contrast color.
- School Bus should have a First Aid Box and Fire Extinguisher which should be routinely checked for expiry dates. Also, driver, conductor, lady attendant/guard should be well trained to use them.
- Global Positioning System (GPS), CCTV cameras and white lighting should be installed inside the bus. These instruments should be in working condition all the time.
- School Bus should be tailored with speed ruler with maximum speed limit of 40 km/h. The school bus should possess alarm bell and siren for alarming emergency situations.
- The windows of the school bus should be fitted with horizontal grills and mesh wires; also the windows should not be fitted with curtains or glasses having films. The seats must be of non-combustible materials for children safety.
- The doors should be fitted with reliable locks that can be locked. Emergency exit doors should also be installed in the bus.
- To keep the school bags and water bottles safely, there should be enough space either under the seats or in a convenient place inside the bus.
- There must be a well-trained female attendant and a bus conductor to attend the school children & ensure their safe boarding and overall safety during the entire journey. Also, they should ensure that under no circumstances any outsider shall be allowed to board the school bus.
- There should be at least one parent/guardian/teacher voluntarily present, to oversee the conduct of driver & other staff along with the overall safety measures in the bus.
Reference (2017) : CBSE CIRCULAR
Parents can further approach the school management/the school appointed transport management in case of any queries or further understandings.