Make school buses safe or lose affiliation: CBSE

Make school buses safe or lose affiliation: CBSE
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued a fresh set of guidelines asking schools to either ensure the safety of students in school buses or lose affiliation.

The move comes in the wake of reports about several accidents in which students travelling in school buses lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Mumbai. The buses will have to be painted yellow with the school name prominently displayed on both sides. If it is a hired bus, “on school duty” must be written on it, the guidelines stated.

The drivers will have to be in uniform – grey trousers and jacket or as prescribed by the state transport department. The driver will also have to wear a name plate with a picture.

On the nameplate, the name of the owner of the school bus has to be distinctly embossed.
Installation of GPS and CCTV in the buses is mandatory. The drivers are strictly prohibited from using their mobile phones as well as interacting with passengers on board while driving, the board said.

“The management and the head of the affiliated schools will be held responsible for any lapse in this regard, which could invite appropriate action, including the disaffiliation of the school as per the provisions under affiliation by-laws,” the CBSE said.

A driver who has been challaned even once for the offence of over-speeding, driving dangerously or charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code for any accidents, cannot be employed.

“Details of the driver’s name, address, licence number and badge number as well as telephone numbers of the school or the owner of the bus, transport department’s helpline number and registration number of the vehicle shall be displayed at prominent places inside and outside the bus in contrast colour,” it said, adding they should be “clearly” visible to the passengers and to the public.

In the interiors, the buses must have exit doors, and windows should be fitted with horizontal grills and mesh wire. The doors should be fitted with “reliable locks” and the school authorities must ensure that it remains shut while the bus is moving.

“The school buses should be fitted with speed governors with maximum speed limit of 40 kmph. If age of the children is below 12 years, the number of students carried shall not exceed one and a half times the seating capacity,” the CBSE said.

“Under no circumstances shall any outsider, except the driver, conductor, the authorised well-trained woman guard and one parent of the wards, be allowed to board the school bus,” the guidelines added.
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