Chandigarh: Education Dept to crack down on unsafe vehicles ferrying schoolchildren : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh: Education Dept to crack down on unsafe vehicles ferrying schoolchildren

Chandigarh: Education Dept to crack down on unsafe vehicles ferrying schoolchildren


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16

In a bid to prioritise the safety of schoolchildren, the Education Department has decided to intensify its action against use of unauthorised auto-rickshaws and small vans for ferrying students to and from schools.

The Director of School Education has expressed concern over parents sending their children to schools in such vehicles and emphasised that the vehicles must comply with the norms of the State Transport Authority (STA). These include having proper permits and adhering to approved capacity limits.

Furthermore, private schools have been urged to inform parents about these requirements to ensure the safety of children utilising transportation services. Overloading of vehicles, such as auto-rickshaws and maxi cabs, poses a significant risk to the safety of schoolchildren.

According to directives, maxi cabs and autos transporting schoolchildren must obtain a contract carriage permit from the STA, Chandigarh. They must also adhere to specified colour schemes and carry children within approved capacities. An auto is permitted to carry a maximum of four schoolchildren below the age of 12. Additionally, safety measures such as horizontal grills/gates on both sides of auto-rickshaws are mandatory.

The State Transport Authority has already taken strict action against violators, issuing challans to 215 buses, 210 taxis/maxi cabs and 1,089 three-wheelers from January 2023 to March 2024.

To further enhance safety measures, the Education Department has mandated the installation of GPS systems in school buses, enabling real-time tracking for parents. Additionally, schools are required to maintain backup records of routes, speed and stoppage time for three days.

Moreover, the Education Secretary has instructed the department to include compliance with transportation regulations as a condition for the provisional recognition and CBSE affiliation of schools. This entails thorough checks of school transport facilities by the department.

Addressing concerns regarding punctuality, schools have been advised to reconsider strict policies on arrival times to accommodate occasional latecomers. This measure is aimed at preventing drivers from resorting to rash driving due to time constraints, considering the growing traffic congestion in the city.

‘Install GPS system on school buses’

The Education Department has mandated the installation of GPS systems on school buses, enabling real-time tracking for parents. Additionally, schools are required to maintain backup records of routes, speed and stoppage time for three days.

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