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Schools, you can no longer take kids for a ride

A young boy’s death was needed for the state government to wake up to the unaddressed concerns over school buses.

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A young boy’s death was needed for the state government to wake up to the unaddressed concerns over school buses.

Two days after the tragedy that snuffed out the life of 13-year-old Abhilash of St Philomena’s School, the state transport department on Friday  finally proposed a comprehensive set of guidelines to make the ride to school safer.

Apart from fixing specifications for school buses and vans, the new set of guidelines insist on stringent selection and service conditions for drivers.

Disclosing this to DNA, transport minister R Ashoka said: “Our department is now worried about repeated accidents involving school vans and buses in Bangalore. If you analyse those cases, you will find that school managements have miserably failed in following safety guidelines issued by our department.”

“Six years back, the state transport department had advocated safety measures for school vehicles. But most schools—and even some parents—had raised objections to those guidelines. So we had to withdraw them. But now, we will come out with more stringent guidelines and ensure that they follow them.”

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