The recent school bus accident that claimed the life of a young boy has raised just one question – how safe are the children when they travel by the school bus?
A couple of parents, in the City have expressed their concern over the safety of their children who travel by the school bus. With so many private players offering attractive fares to ferry the children to school, parents wonder if they should rely on the cheaper mode of transport or go in for the school bus which is a safer option. Metrolife interacted with a few parents and asked them what mode of transport they’d choose for their children and why.
Smitha, a parent, used to send her child in private vans and autos. “That was because our house was really far away from the school and the school bus did not come to that area. It was a scary thought because the driver would fill the vehicle with lots of children. This is why we thought it would be safer to use the school bus. While the private vehicles are cheaper, I feel the school buses are safer,” she says.
There are a number of things that parents say one must look out for when choosing the transport. They say it’s always better to keep the emergency contact number of the bus driver and a teacher travelling on the bus, keep a tab on the number of stops each bus takes, check whether the windows of the BMTC bus have grills and most importantly a door. “Many a time, the school hires the BMTC buses, which is okay but it must make sure that there is a door in the bus because kids tend to run inside the bus and chances are that they may fall off,” says Kanchana, another parent.
Shwetha, a housewife, feels it is safest to drop and pick up the kids on her own. “It’s difficult to trust anybody. Being a homemaker, I have the time to drop and pick up both my kids from school. Moreover, there are many parents in the neighbourhood who are planning on starting a carpooling system where each one will take turn to pick up the children themselves,” she adds.
But not all parents have the luxury to pick up the children themselves. “The incident that occurred was rather disturbing, especially when I have a child of my own who takes a school bus everyday. But I have made sure that I have done enough research on the transport system the school provides and how safe it is before taking admission to the school. It’s always better to take the transport provided by the school because the authorities will be accountable in case of any mishap,” says Payal, a parent. Agrees Shruthi, whose son goes to class one. She says, it’s high time private vehicles that take children to school be made more accountable.
“Drivers from the private mini vans and autos are very rash and there’s never an assurance of complete safety. At least with school buses, there is always a teacher who stays till the last stop and one can always take down their mobile numbers or the bus driver’s number in case of any emergency,” she adds.