According to the data collected by the state transport department, Karnataka, between April 1, 2014 and Jun 30, 2015, the transport department has registered as many as 849 cases against schools for violating the safety guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in their school vehicles, reported Deccan Chronicle. The highest number of cases was registered in Bengaluru city.
A total of Rs 4.24 lakhs has been collected as fines from the schools. According to the data, 793 cases were registered against 34 private schools of the city for not keeping to the guidelines. According to the data, compared to Bengaluru, a lower number of guideline violations were reported from other cities in the state.
In 2013, guidelines by the Supreme Court were issued to all the schools, warning them of strict action if they fail to follow the guidelines. The Karnataka State Transport Department (KSTD) also issued a notification to the traffic department to enforce the scheme on May 1, 2013.
Court’s guidelines as reported by Deccan Chronicle
School cabs and buses should be fitted with speed governors with maximum speed limit of 40 kmph.
The body of school cab and bus shall be highway yellow in colour with a horizontal strip in green colour of 150mm width in the middle all around the vehicle and the words ‘SCHOOL CAB / SCHOOL BUS’ must be prominently displayed on all four sides of the vehicle.
If the age of school children is below 12 years, the number of children carried shall not exceed 1½ times the permitted seating capacity. Children above 12 years shall be treated as one person.
The driver of a school cab and bus must have valid license to drive an LMV-Transport Vehicles for a period of at least four years and compulsorily wear a light blue shirt, light blue trousers and black shoes. His name ID should be displayed on the shirt.
There must be enough space provided to keep school bags inside the vehicle and the bags should not be hung outside the vehicle or placed on roof carriers.
The bus driver must carry a complete list of the children being ferried in the school cab, indicating the name, class, residential address, blood group and the points of stoppage and route plan.
School cabs and buses must carry a first-aid kit.
In case of kindergarten, if an authorised person recognised mutually by the school and parents does not come to pick the child from the halting points, the child shall be taken back to the school and their parents should be called.
While it’s unfortunate that schools continue to ignore the Supreme Court guidelines, the state transport department is keeping an eye on things to ensure that all rules with regard to school cabs and bus transportation are followed.