Srinagar: A week after the deadly road accident that claimed lives of nine students, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to implement the Supreme Court guidelines for school transport buses in letter and spirit.
"With regard to the safety of school buses carrying children, the guidelines laid down by Supreme Court of India will be implemented in letter and spirit," an official spokesman said.
He said, accordingly, the school buses shall be painted yellow and the buses would have a first aid box, speed governor of specified standard and windows fitted with horizontal grills.
"Besides, the school buses shall be fitted with fire extinguisher and the doors shall have reliable locks. There shall be qualified attendant in the bus to attend the children," the spokesman said.
He said the name of the concerned school and telephone numbers shall also be displayed on the bus.
"Any driver who has been challaned more than twice in a year for offences like red light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing unauthorised person to drive cannot be employed for driving," the spokesman said.
He said a driver who has been challaned even once for the offence of over speeding, drunken driving and dangerous driving cannot be employed for driving a school bus.
The school buses will be subjected to mandatory fitness checks every year.
The government statement comes a week after a school bus rolled down a gorge in south Kashmir Kokernag area, that left nine students dead and 8 others injured.
Hundreds of buses and vans are being used for ferrying school children in clear violation of the norms set by the apex court. Overloading of students is one of the most common violations as traffic authorities have so far failed to curb the practice.
Use of illegal gas kits in the school vans is also a common problem in the Valley.
Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Haseebul Rehman last week said traffic rules will be strictly implemented from April 20 and no violation will be tolerated.