Owner-drivers of school buses, vans that take students to school and drop them off near home frequently break the rules and as a result, student lives are at stake. More students are transported in these trains than capacity and it has been pointed out that there is a lack of fire safety. Action has been taken against more than 100 school buses and vans in Mumbai that break the rules. Meanwhile, the Office of the Transportation Commissioner has ordered all RTOs in the state to take strict action against these buses and vans.
Schools were closed during the Corona period. As a result, school bus and van services have also been suspended. As a result, the income of school bus driver-owners has been lost. Now, as soon as school has started, student transportation has resumed in these buses and vans. However, it has been observed that many owners of school buses and vans carry more students than capacity by violating the rules of the guidelines. Also, the rule regarding the fire safety system is ignored. Not only that, it has been pointed out that the rules and conditions regarding valid insurance certificate, valid vehicle fitness certificate, assistance are not adhered to. For this reason, many complaints have been received at the Office of the Transportation Commissioner regarding the unsafe transportation of students. In view of these complaints, action is taken in accordance with the order issued by the Commissioner.
During an action campaign by the RTOs of Wadala, Borivali, Andheri and Taddeo in Mumbai, it was noticed that many school buses and vans were not following the rules.
Wadala RTO started the operation from July 26 and so far criminal charges have been filed against 35 vehicles. Most of these school buses and vans did not have fire extinguishers. It was also observed that the bus-van carrying more students than its capacity did not have valid insurance or certificate of fitness. During the action taken in this case, some drivers deposited the amount of the fine. Fines were not recovered from some drivers. Wadala RTO officials informed that more than five thousand rupees in fines have been levied so far.
The actions taken by Andheri RTO include 28 unlicensed vehicles and 24 licensed vehicles, of which 25 vehicles without a valid certificate of fitness were put into action. Action was taken against 13 vehicles for not having a fire extinguisher system, 19 for not having a valid insurance certificate and nine for carrying more than the seating capacity. Officials informed that action has been taken against 25 school buses and vans under Borivali RTO. These two RTOs were fined more than 12,000 rupees. Actions are also carried out by Taddeo RTO.
Absence of these rules
- School buses, vans must be yellow in color and mention the school bus on the front and back of the vehicle
- The color yellow will not be required for school or any other contract vehicle. But the vehicle must have a 20 inch yellow stripe down the center of all sides.
- School buses should not be used even after the age of eight.
- A first aid kit and fire fighting equipment must be available on the bus.
- The driver must have five years of driving experience.