‘Principals to be responsible for violations’
SRINAGAR: District Magistrate Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Wednesday directed all schools operating in the district to ensure strict adherence to bus safety rules and guidelines.
An official statement issued here said the order comes in the wake of growing complaints and reports of overloading by school buses and negligence putting lives of children at risk.
An order issued by Choudary directed school principals to ensure compliance with all relevant rules and Supreme Court guidelines aimed at ensuring safety of students in their commute. It stated that principals will be responsible for adherence to the guidelines.
The order directs for strict carriage as per capacity in school busses strictly warning against violation. It also directs for having seat-belts in school busses and ensuring these remain fastened while the vehicle is moving.
The school buses used for ferrying students must have proper passenger vehicle permits. Drivers should have minimum five years of experience in driving passenger vehicle with no past record of traffic offences.
All school buses must have an attendant on to look after the children, first-aid boxes and potable water available.
The vehicles must have the name and telephone number of the school and “On School Duty” written on them both at the sides and the front and back thereof.
The order directs the concerned authorities to seize all such vehicles as found violating any of the relevant guidelines in this regard or instructions as stated in this order. It states that seizure memos will have “seized for adopting practices in violation of Supreme Court guidelines” noted thereon as reason for seizure in order to ensure strictest punishments.
The DM has urged the public in general and the parents of school children in particular to report instances of violations of the order to his office assuring of immediate and the strictest action under law against principals whose school buses are found violating any of the bus safety rules or the said instructions.
School principals have been instructed to immediately convene parent-teacher meetings on the subject and to make minutes of these meetings available for inspection as and when asked.
The order also instructs all schools to constitute road safety clubs and convey details to the SSP Traffic and RTO Kashmir who will organise relevant training for members thereof. School managements have also been asked to focus on road safety education and take proactive steps in this regard.
The order states that a review will be held after every two weeks to verify adherence to and implementation of instructions of the order. It states that all schools will also be assessed for road safety activities.
It states that instructions contained in this order became imperative in view of non-serious approach of school managements in this regard resulting in the problem growing into alarming proportions with overloading among other forms of negligence seriously endangering lives of children on board school buses.