Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th January 2014, 10:42   #196
BHPian
 
PearlJam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 298
Thanked: 299 Times
Default School van menace

My daughter is 3 and a half years old, and we drop her to school and pick her up again everyday. We never gave a second thought about sending her by a school van, since she is too young. However, as she grows up, I dread the day when I need to send her by a school van. Dropping and picking her up all her life is not a practical option.

While dropping her every morning, I see the regular set of about 10-15 random private school vans going in the same direction, pass me by. Not a single one of them drive sanely. Whether they are the bigger force motors travellers, or the ubiquitous Maruti van, they all seem to be in a tearing hurry to reach the school, inspite of having adequate time. Add to that, their incessant loud honking exposes their lack of even a tiniest bit of patience or consideration to pedestrians, children, and the elderly. I always failed to understand the logic of driving like a maniac, reach school more than 15 minutes early, and then gathering and chitchatting. The school kids themselves seem to be oblivious to all this, and in all their innocence, even enjoy their daily roller coaster rides!

And if all this wasn't enough, the vehicles themselves are poorly maintained. Observing the parked vans, I see completely bald tyres, broken exhaust pipes spewing black smoke from the underbelly of the vehicles (this is for the diesel ones), torn seats, rusted sharp edges, no seat belts, and no markings/boards to indicate that it is a school van. Add to this the problem of overloading of kids, and you have a deadly recipe for disaster.

Unfortunately, the law never seems to catch up either with these drivers or their vehicles. Any half hearted action taken by the government immediately results in flash strikes and dharnas resulting in complete rollbacks and u-turns. Speed governers seem to be the best solution, but are never implemented. Since most of the vans seem to be private ones, the schools also seem to have no say in the matter. Are our kids never a consideration in all this?

A few articles here:
http://www.bangaloremirror.com/banga...w/22088762.cms
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle4857688.ece

No offense meant to people who send their kids by school vans. As i said, in today's fast moving world, there's hardly a better choice. The drivers are humans too, with their own day to day problems, but all this is not an excuse for dangerous driving.

It would be nice if we could discuss solutions, thoughts, and alternatives. Car pooling is a real practical solution, though it somehow hasn't really taken off.
PearlJam is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 10:50   #197
Senior - BHPian
 
arunphilip's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,724
Thanked: 4,661 Times
Default Re: School van menace

I did like the initiative by the Bangalore Traffic Police (if I'm not mistaken) to mandate that school vehicles be painted yellow, with a green band that held the school name. Putting the name of the school there will atleast give the school some moral responsibility to ensure its driven well. Legally, though, these vehicles tend to be contracted out. The unregistered cabs that are used for play schools, etc. are a different beast.

If an apartment complex/locality has a few preferred schools, maybe the residents can pool in and hire a vehicle, and govern them by some rules? Then again, this takes effort to put in place, manage and monitor - and most parents don't have time for this among all their other commitments.

Maybe we need a larger player to come in city-wide, the way taxi fleets emerged?
arunphilip is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 10:57   #198
BHPian
 
tazmaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 637
Thanked: 994 Times
Default Re: School van menace

I fear what you fear. I stay near Podar school where every day 250 buses come in and go out vans and travelers extra.

One of the main reason for them to race is find a parking/stopping spot at the school. There is zero infra at schools to allow these buses to park and off load. I have seen these buses brush again each other imagine a child's hand or god forbid head out.

All said and done, I stay in a joint family and with 3 kids going to school we have a driver (old and trusted) and a car to do school duty (not ideal to reduce traffic). But there is no choice left.

I know people who have clubbed 4 students and each parent gives a car and driver for a week. All this because of the same fear that you have. I suggest if you have resource and like minded parents to join in this is the next best thing to school bus.
tazmaan is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 11:03   #199
BHPian
 
ak916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore/Hyderabad
Posts: 281
Thanked: 143 Times
Default Re: School van menace

The best solution is to hire an car between 4-5 of her school mates. It wont work out ask expensive as the school bus option. I also think some schools charge for the busses during summer holidays as well when they don't operate the busses. They say they do it so that they can pay the drivers and maintain the busses etc.
ak916 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 11:18   #200
Senior - BHPian
 
srishiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 3,467
Thanked: 694 Times
Default Re: School van menace

Speed governors cant solve the rash driving problems. You can ride zig zag, move on the wrong side, stop in the middle of the road by being within the speed limit.

My kids use the school provided buses/vans and are always monitored in the vehicle by a staff member. I guess these private operators are the menace and sometimes I wonder if we are trying to correct small portions of a screwed up and chaotic system.
srishiva is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 11:28   #201
BHPian
 
jkrishnakj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 495
Thanked: 304 Times
Default Re: School van menace

I saw the topic and even before i clicked the link to open the thread, i had a vague feeling that this has to be from someone from Bangalore. Phew !.

To the views of sending 3-4 children by cars / pooling - here's what i think and i have experienced. I simply dread the day where my son misses the school bus, not because i need to rush and take my car to drop him, but the sheer fact that to navigate so many of the school buses parked all over and finding the roads to drop my son off in my car is such a huge pain.
jkrishnakj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 11:29   #202
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 4,924
Thanked: 1,912 Times
Angry Re: School van menace

@Pearljam,

A very valid observation and a real cause of concern. Not only the private buses used for ferrying the children, even the ones under the school managment are culprits when it comes to rash driving, incessant honking and absolutely bad parking behaviours. My son travels in the school authorized buses and have seen them taking off from the pick up point even before the children have settled in. The attendant too is least bothered by the driving antics of the drivers. Once the buses reach the school, a major portion of the road is occupied in parking leaving little space for other vehicles to use. This further leads to traffic chaos since there are children who are being dropped by parents, grandparents etc in their personal cars adding to the mayhem.

There is little being done by school mgmt, municipal authorities to tackle this growing menance. I have written on a no of occassions to both the parties and most of the time they indulge in blaming the opposites.
ghodlur is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 11:54   #203
Senior - BHPian
 
joybhowmik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1,314
Thanked: 1,885 Times
Default Re: School van menace

It's not only Bangalore, Thane or Mumbai.
These private Maruti Omni school vans abound in New Delhi as well. I join issue with Pearljam and others, that these vans are driven recklessly, poorly maintained, and more often than not - overloaded. This makes them especially prone to accidents.

The other problem is that the reckless driving is not only limited to main street - it happens most on the residential lanes, where elderly people usually are to/from their morning walk.

I have to admit, that it's us parents, who despite knowing the facts, still entrust our wards to these dangerous mad drivers. Perhaps it will take a string of avoidable tragedies to bring some regulation and sense in this unorganized sector.
joybhowmik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 12:06   #204
BHPian
 
PearlJam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 298
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: School van menace

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Maybe we need a larger player to come in city-wide, the way taxi fleets emerged?
Yes, and it's a great business for someone to start. Guarantee sane speeds, experienced drivers, proper vehicles, and the works, and I'm sure people will pay even if you charge more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazmaan View Post
One of the main reason for them to race is find a parking/stopping spot at the school.

I suggest if you have resource and like minded parents to join in this is the next best thing to school bus.
I don't think parking spots are an issue. Usually, if you go a few 100 metres outside the school, you can easily get parking. I guess it's just that they just can't wait to socialize with each other everyday


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
My son travels in the school authorized buses and have seen them taking off from the pick up point even before the children have settled in. Once the buses reach the school, a major portion of the road is occupied in parking leaving little space for other vehicles to use. This further leads to traffic chaos
Yes, this is yet another issue that we have to deal with. The same people who honk crazily if you wait for a pedestrian to cross, are thick-skinned and insensitive when they block others due to their haphazard parking.
PearlJam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 12:15   #205
BHPian
 
mints21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: India
Posts: 726
Thanked: 1,070 Times
Default Re: School van menace

Quote:
It's not only Bangalore, Thane or Mumbai.
These private Maruti Omni school vans abound in New Delhi as well.
I agree with my fellow Bhpian joybhowmik, this menace has spread its tentacles almost every where across the country.

What is even more surprising is the fact that most of these vans and buses have been given contract by schools to operate in this fashion. Every morning, when I go to drop my son to the bus stop, I come across a school bus from Delhi Public School which is one of the most reputed school of Delhi-NCR. I get a shock to see it in white colour (the school bus colour as per the law should be Yellow) with no signage of school bus or warning to the fellow motorists that the bus is carrying school children.

The Times of India two days back carried a report that Noida Transport Department has come down heavily on the transporters whose buses are involved in transporting school children. This step came after a school bus met with an accident seriously injuring two children last week.

Moreover, What is important for us to think and debate is a fact that "How will these schools teach children to respect and follow laws when they themselves ignore them blatantly.

However, I have also seen schools in Noida like Lotus Valley International School, Shiv Nadar School, Mayoor School, Genesis, Kothari Public School, Pathways International School giving due attention to the rules and regulations. I have till date never come across any school bus of these schools flouting rules and plying on the roads.
mints21 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 13:05   #206
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 4,924
Thanked: 1,912 Times
Angry Re: School van menace

I had once asked the school bus which pick up my son to point to the safety escape door in the bus and the driver looked at me with a bewildered look as to what was I asking. Sadly the bus didnt have the safety door. The driver later pointed out that the rear glass hatch will be used in case of emergency. I wondered how would the children get out of the hatch, would they jump through the opening. When I pointed out to the school prinicpal with a snap of the bus, the principal calmly told me that the school bus contract doesnt mention anything about the safety escape provision. I felt like slapping myself after hearing this knowing that I am paying 15K per annum for the bus fees.
ghodlur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 14:15   #207
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Rajeevraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,171
Thanked: 7,548 Times
Default Re: School van menace

This is a big concern in my opinion.Most people do not care or don't have the option/choice to care about the quality of school transport. One of my key criteria when I was looking out for a school for my kid late last year was the quality of the school transport. When I visited the schools, I would first look at the buses/vans parked there, the quality of the vehicles and the presence of first aid boxes and emergency exits (some people found this amusing). Then in the conversation with the school folks, tried to gauge the importance they gave to the transportation. My logic was that if they cared enough about the way their students traveled to school , then their focus on other areas will be good.

This info was a key decision point in deciding the school. I selected the school that managed their own fleet, had good quality buses and had a clear cut process in place for hiring drivers and assistants.

Of course, all this is theoretical info and info at one point in time, need to see how it pans out.
Rajeevraj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 16:27   #208
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,385
Thanked: 1,984 Times
Default Re: School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

Morning 6:20 am, still rather dark.

I am waiting at a signal and see a bus approaching - constantly flashing his lights. After a wait of 35 secs, our side gets a green signal and we start moving. At the next signal, same thing. This time though I was on the right while the bus was in the middle lane. Saw it was an empty school bus.
Dry Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 17:12   #209
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 553
Thanked: 150 Times
Default Re: School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

Every morning I go on cycling rides as exercise. I see quite a few school buses coming from the wrong side to pick children up from the society gates as they don't want to take the longer U turn come in the right direction. I don't see any parent complaining to them of this practice. And mind you, these are all societies where well educated folks (mostly IT) live.
shipnil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th June 2014, 11:59   #210
Distinguished - BHPian
 
condor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Speed-brkr City
Posts: 10,320
Thanked: 3,664 Times
Default Re: School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

A friend is looking for transportation for their child (primary school) from Brigade Millenium area (JP Nagar) to St Joseph's.

Any leads, please ping me.

Thanks in advance !
condor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How safe Are Rear Bike Alloy Wheels For Children as Pillions? anjan_c2007 Motorbikes 32 21st June 2010 16:12
Delhi-Kolkata road trip: is it safe to travel during Holi moeinuk Route / Travel Queries 51 5th March 2010 10:55
Is it safe to travel to US and Canada now in view of swine flu? nagvasireddy Route / Travel Queries 8 10th May 2009 21:31
Pune-Goa(24th Jan) Is it safe to travel via the border(MH-Ka) town of Nipani footloose15 Route / Travel Queries 6 23rd January 2009 20:09
6 year old misses bus, drives ford taurus to school,crashes it,walks on to school ! sidindica Shifting gears 21 12th January 2009 22:46


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:26.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks