Udupi, May 18: With couple of weeks to go for the reopening of schools, Udupi Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis has urged the educational institutions and drivers, operators, owners of vehicles, transporting schoolchildren to follow government guidelines regarding children’s safety in the district.
Chairing a meeting of representatives of educational institutions and officials of the transport, public instruction, and police departments at the District Offices Complex here recently, Ms Francis said that all vehicles carrying schoolchildren should have insurance documents and fitness certificates. They should maintain a first-aid box in their vehicles. There should be an emergency exit and all facilities necessary for safety, she said.
These vehicles should be painted yellow and have the words ‘School Bus’ clearly painted on all its four sides.
Speed governors should be installed and the vehicles should be in good condition. These vehicles should carry only the prescribed number of students, Ms. Francis said.
She said that educational institutions should check the background of drivers of school buses/vans/vehicles while appointing them. She directed the Regional Transport Officer to provide reorientation course in safe-driving to all school vehicles drivers.
The schools should have the telephone numbers and addresses of parents to contact during emergencies, she added.
“It will sometimes be difficult for the drivers of school vehicles to drive the students to the schools on time during monsoon. No educational institution should put any kind of pressure on the students or school vehicles to reach on time,” she said.
Ms. Francis directed the officials of the National Highways Authority of India to install proper signage by the sides of the highways where schools are located. She directed the police to take action against vehicles violating traffic rules.
“ Children’s safety committees in all schools should compulsorily meet once in three months and discuss the safety measures taken or proposed to be taken with the parents, and school vehicle drivers,” she said.
Ms. Francis said that all the government and private schools will be graded based on the measures taken by them to implement the rules with regard to the children’s rights and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).
The DC directed the officials of the Public Instruction Department to collect information on dangerous stone quarries on the way to schools and submit a report to the district administration. Safety measures will be taken on such paths.
Udupi DC urges schools, vehicle owners, drivers to follow safety guidelines