Thursday, August 30, 2007

Supreme Court issues guidelines for school buses

Supreme Court guidelines emphasises students’ safety

Gangtok, Aug 29: The Supreme Court has issued certain new rules for school buses all over the nation, intending safer journey for school students.According to the new instruction, every bus would henceforth have to put up a board on the bus mentioning the legend "on school duty". The buses would not be allowed to overload and carry students according to the seat capacity of the bus. Every student must have the facility of a seat belt as well, the instruction states. Every school bus would have to inscribe the name and phone numbers of the school they belong to for easy identification. The buses would have to carry first aid box inside and water as well to meet an emergency situation. The new rules have also attached importance on the drivers of the school bus. According to the new instruction, the school authorities would have to engage drivers experienced in driving vehicles for at least five years and drivers with a previous record of breaking traffic norms cannot be engaged. Schools, who engage transport contractors for the purpose would have to furnish details of the vehicles and the firm engaged to the local police, traffic department and the superintendent of police of the district. "The department has started notifying the schools and the drivers' associations accordingly from today," the SDO, Siliguri, said.