Patna, June 22: The school buses would be a tad safer for students soon. For, they would have to follow at least four safety norms.
Carrying first aid kits in school buses would be mandatory. The telephone numbers of the institution, the bus owner and driver should be painted in the body of the vehicle. Also, each vehicle transporting children must bear a symbol declaring it is a school bus.
A letter in this connection has been sent to all the police stations of the city. The officers concerned will be intimating the schools in their jurisdiction about the bus safety norms. The schools will get a week’s time to fulfil the norms.
“The police will be observing for seven days whether the schools are following the norms or not. The schools that will reopen after summer vacation later in the month would get some more time. If they don’t comply with the safety rules, a deadline would be announced,” Patna City superintendent of police (SP) Shivdeep Lande told The Telegraph today.
The police said the regulations should be implemented because in most of the cases drivers flee after mishaps and tracking them becomes an uphill task for the men in uniform.
On April 15, an overloaded school bus of the CBSE-affiliated The Earth Public School turned turtle in the Vadhpur area under Parsa Bazaar police station. Several students sustained injuries, while a teacher died of shock. The bus driver and the conductor fled after the accident.
“If the number of the bus driver or the bus owner is there in the bus, the police can immediately contact them in case of a mishap. It will also increase the chances of arresting the errant drivers. A first aid kit should also be there in every school bus besides the telephone number of the institution,” the City SP said.
Schools said they would try to follow the norms if they were made mandatory.
Asha Nutan, the principal of the DAV School, Transport Nagar, said their buses had first aid kits but painting the number of the bus driver on the vehicles was impossible.
“The buses operate on contract basis. The drivers keep changing. So, painting their numbers on the vehicles is difficult. But we can paint the number of the contractor on the bus. Moreover, the telephone numbers of the transport in-charge and route in-charge (who are teachers) have been included in the academic calendar and are available with the parents. The school will make arrangements to ensure that the regulations are followed,” she said.
P.K Mukherjee, the principal of the Gyan Niketan School, said: “All our buses have first aid kits. The phone numbers of the school and the bus owner are displayed on the bus in the printed form. Also, the school bus logo is there,” he said.
The Patna police had come out with a list of dos and don’ts for school buses in March this year. But former traffic SP Ajit Kumar Sinha was allegedly reluctant to implement them citing the ICSE and CBSE examinations round the corner. He said the implementation of the norms would mean confiscation of buses, triggering troubles for students.
But even after the examinations ended, the regulations were never really implemented, police sources said.