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Old 27th June 2014, 10:39   #211
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Default Re: School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

I got admission for my son in L.K.G at a good school sometime early this year. We opted for the school van/bus to pick and drop him. On the first day of school, we decided that my wife would go along with my son while I follow them in the car so that the driver knows where our home is.
By the time we reached, I knew we had to change the school. The bus went through a totally different and lengthy route. The kids were scorched in the mid-day heat. Some were sprawling on the seats. There were no sort of safety mechanisms anywhere. The last straw was when I saw a hole on the floor of the van near the driver, covered with a piece of card-board. I raised this issue with the principal the next day who said they will fix it.
But we had already changed our minds.

Now, after having obtained admission at a school opposite my wife's office, we pick and drop him by car every day. This is much more peaceful. I shudder to think of the kids who face this torture every day.
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Old 27th June 2014, 11:33   #212
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Default Re: School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

While in Manipal, I used to notice that lots of kids used to attend Little Rock Indian School. This was because most nearby school are pretty bad. But the kids get fried in the bus at least 2 hours a day in humid Udupi weather. We didn't get admission there, but we were glad about it in one way. Our son didn't have to suffer the 2 hours commute at the age of 7. Later when my family moved to Bangalore, we chose a good school first, then rented a house nearby. Now my son walks to school, since 4 years.
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Old 8th January 2015, 08:49   #213
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Default Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal buses.

I've driven extensively in Bangalore and Chennai. I am not sure about other cities.
I think that school buses are the rashest drivers of them all. I agree that they have a valid reason that they are always late and child education is the most important thing (Bangalore sexual abuse notwithstanding). Now in any traffic jam, the school bus is the first to break out of line and go onto the wrong side. They are the fastest vehicles on the road. because of course no one will mess with a school bus or else media will sensationalize the news with crying children and make you the villain. But still, the fact remains that our children travel in these vehicles. In the interest of safety, what if we elect to legally allow school buses to break rules. Give them a red beacon and a siren and right of way. So they will be fearless and thus less prone to mistakes.
Coming to municipal buses and maxi cabs, they ferry 50-150 people. Thus they are more important than the poor Mercedes with only 4 people in it. In India where net worth is measured by the number of votes you can put, the bus passenger's time is more important than the CEO of a company. Thus they also drive like maniacs. The bus is always over the yellow line, it never stops at the bus stop, overtakes from the left, drives on the pavement, jumps the signal, blocks narrow roads, swats 2-wheeler, breaks the wing mirrors of cars. If given a siren and red Beacon, They will be able to legally do all this and thus be immune.
Sometimes the only way to reduce crime is to change the definition of crime.
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Old 8th January 2015, 09:11   #214
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

I am sincerely hoping it's more sarcasm than substance. If so, I shall rate your thought at 5 stars.

They are a menace as they are. If you legalize the menace they won't think twice before ramming their way through everything.
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Old 8th January 2015, 09:17   #215
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

@honeybee: It is cynicism.
An they ram through anyway. and never think about it.
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Old 8th January 2015, 10:38   #216
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

Take them off all government vehicles. Only Ambulances and police (on emergency / major traffic duty) should have beacons (blue) and sirens. In the UK I have seen HM travelling from Windsor to Buck House with just two escort carsbin front and back. No fancy hardware!
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Old 8th January 2015, 11:22   #217
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Take them off all government vehicles. Only Ambulances and police (on emergency / major traffic duty) should have beacons (blue) and sirens
Though I agree to the part of removal of sirens and beacons from non emergency vehicles I don't think the problem is due to just that.

During Dec last week I was traveling back to Bangalore from my hometown in Kerala, en-route in NH 212 (2 lane road) a police Bolero comes up in my rear-view with sirens and lights.

Behind that I see an Innova with state number plates, which I later find out was ferrying state tourism minister. I was doing around 80 KMPH and when this vehicle came, I pulled a bit more to the left so that they overtake me. Now, the Bolero for some reason was not able to do this, guess due to the slightly twisty roads. I was enjoying this, however I slowed down and let them pass. While overtaking me the policeman who was almost dangling outside was indicating me to pull over to allow the minister vehicle to pass.

I was able to see them doing this to many vehicles in ahead, including infamous KSRTC bus.

Now, lets think of the same scenario without red beacon for the minister vehicle. I don't think there will be any change.

And even if you think a scenario without pilot jeep and beacons the same thing would have happened.


Now, if suppose it was an Ambulance. Well, I guess most of the people on the road would have pulled over to let it pass without thinking twice. However there would be another line which would try tailgating the ambulance to avoid traffic.

Issue I feel is with the way we as a community 'sees' power. It unfortunately has a more arrogant = more powerful equation I guess.
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Old 8th January 2015, 12:38   #218
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

In Chennai, we can see this from around 6 am where variouse medical and engineering buses try and intimidate. Given that many of the pvt colleges have sound political backing, its a futile effort to try and reason with them.

In my opinion, the flashing lights should be removed from all vehicles except life saving services like ambulances fire and rescue, and also the law enforcement rushing to an incident (or temp to seek attention). In Chennai we can see the police having the flashing lights on all the time, even on bikes. These could be constant and dimmer rather than flashing, if their intent is to show visible policing. It infact irritates when the vehicle travels right in front of you, and de-sensitises the priority to be given to them. This morning, I see a police tow truck using the flashing lights and a siren ( seeing the siren for the first time on a tow truck) while crossing the intersection. Not sure what was the need for priority for a tow truck. The other thing that goes with the vip culture is the fact that other traffic is stopped until the vip crosses. They need find ways to ensure that they do not disturb or affect the general public.
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Old 8th January 2015, 13:00   #219
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Unhappy Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

All sarcasm taken. But mere sarcasm wont work if we want our children travelling in such buses to be safe.

Instead of legalizing the school buses wayward driving with blazing horn and glowing lights, such schools should be dealt with legal fines or blacklist so that they don't employ drivers who think they are born F1 drivers. Like most of the private cabs do have notices to call a number incase of rash driving observation, even school buses should have such notices where any observation should be directly bought to the principal's attention or Municipal corporations education department.

Giving any beacon/siren to Municipal buses, maxicabs is a waster of tax payer's money. They anyways dont deserve that.
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Old 8th January 2015, 14:23   #220
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Default Re: Proposal to provide Red Beacon and Siren for school buses, Maxi cabs and Municipal bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Take them off all government vehicles. Only Ambulances and police (on emergency / major traffic duty) should have beacons (blue) and sirens. In the UK I have seen HM travelling from Windsor to Buck House with just two escort carsbin front and back. No fancy hardware!
What? You didn't know that our sarpanches and MLAs and MLCs and MPs and Ministers and all their families and friends, income tax/bureaucrat/PSU officers, their wives going shopping et all are all far more important than the queen of England???

I know of police officers who send their domestic help in the car, beacon flashing to go pick up vegetables from the market [beacon helps get massive discounts], send their kids to school lights blazing....

On a serious note, I honestly fail to understand why bureaucrats need a beacon on their cars. I've asked a few bureaucrat family members and friends and they say its to show their importance and I'm too foolish to understand the need.

So now I just pay their salaries by way of taxes and no longer ask silly questions.
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Old 30th January 2015, 08:59   #221
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Default Killer school buses of Bangalore

Not sure how many of you read about the school bus incident in today's paper, but am adding the link.
http://www.mgrtv.com/nine-students-i...s-topples.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle6834823.ece
Have witnessed rash driving in Chennai too. In fact most accidents are covered up by the school authorities. Most schools here in south India are owned by powerful politicians who can twist the entire law system. But are they to be blamed?
It is parents who are to blame.
They make the bus so late that the driver has to break rules to reach school on time.
Parents don't do background checks on the driver and owner of the school van.
They don't insist on quality vehicles with safety standards.
They don't prevent overcrowding.

But perhaps the govt. can help by making a few rules to improve education.
  1. Exclusive double lane for school buses at drop and pickup timings.
  2. Ambulance type sirens for school buses and vans
  3. More powerful engines in omni vans and maxximos, etc
  4. No liability clause in school bus contract
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:05   #222
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Default

How about banning all other traffic during the pickup and drop timings of school buses? After all nothing else is more important than schooling the children.
Oh, but this still won't prevent driver folly.

Ummm... How about better trained drivers?

Last edited by honeybee : 30th January 2015 at 09:07.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:14   #223
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Default Re: Killer school buses of Bangalore

But public buses are also important. And politician rides. Perhaps not as much as school buses though.
To make things fair, all privately owned vehicles can be off the road (excepting highways >100 kms from any school, town or legislative assembly) from say 0630 - 1100, 1130 - 1400 and 1500 - 1900.
This would ensure free and equitable distribution of our valuable road resources. This would also decongest traffic and reduce pollution levels. Some of the middle class mango people may protest initially, but it is in the interest of greater good.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:17   #224
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Default Re: Killer school buses of Bangalore

Would installation of speed limiting devices on the vehicles help? If you restrict the speed to 40-45 kmph, it is unlikely that the driver would have so much discretionary power to decide his driving style.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:36   #225
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Default Re: Killer school buses of Bangalore

Well, the accident in the OP looks scary to me. I sincerely wish and hope no kids were injured. IMO, why only school buses, this is a menace everywhere in India, right ? But, I understand and agree to the concern we have for the school buses as they move around with India's future i.e. our kids.
1. Speed limiters
2. Better and sensible drivers (fire those recently learned types).
3. Parents and the local administration pressurizing the authorities to take adequate measures.

are some of the ways these incidents can be curbed.
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