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Kashmir RTO Releases Guidelines for School Bus and Van Permits

March 5, 2024
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The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir has implemented a new set of permit conditions in line with AIS-063 standards and Supreme Court guidelines, aimed at improving safety standards for students using school transport.

According to the official communication from RTO Kashmir, Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, the permit conditions incorporate Supreme Court guidelines for the safety of school transport.

The RTO specified that all seats, except those facing the passenger step well, must be forward-facing. Seats facing the step well require a partition, and the number of children onboard should not exceed 1.5 times the permitted seating capacity for children under 12 years old.

Essential facilities such as a first aid box, a water filter, and two ISI-marked ABC type Fire Extinguishers positioned at the front and rear of the bus are required.

Documentation requirements include up-to-date permits, fitness certificates, insurance certificates, valid Token tax receipts, PUCC, SLD certificate, DL, and GPS certificate.

Drivers must have a minimum of 5 years of experience driving Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) and should maintain a complete list of children along with a copy of the agreement with the school.

Drivers with repeated violations such as red light jumping, lane discipline violations, or allowing unauthorized persons to drive should not be employed.

School buses must be painted yellow with ‘SCHOOL BUS’ clearly marked on the front and back, displaying the school’s name, telephone number, and ‘On School Duty’ (if hired).

Safety features include reliable door locks, windows fitted with horizontal grills, and buses equipped with a speed governor set to a maximum speed limit of 40 kmph.

Bag space must be provided under seats to store school bags securely, prohibiting bags from being hung outside the vehicle or placed on roof carriers.

A qualified attendant should supervise children during transit and while boarding and disembarking. In the event of a kindergarten child not being picked up by an authorized person, the child must be safely returned to school, with parents notified.

Contact details of the Transport Manager responsible for safe transportation must be prominently displayed inside and outside the bus.

The RTO emphasized that schools should not engage transport services without valid permits or those that do not meet permit conditions/guidelines. Violations will result in stern action against defaulters or violators.

A copy of the communication has been sent to all Chairman Regional Transport Authorities (Deputy Commissioners) for information and all Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs) with the request to circulate among all empowered officers under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 read with J&K Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991 as amended in 2019.

The Director of School Education Kashmir has been urged to circulate among all the government and recognized private schools under their jurisdiction.

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