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Old 15th September 2010, 18:14   #136
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Bullitt those are rational explanations i agree, still it comes down to the schools to stop such vehicles from overloading, this applies to any mode not just these vans.
And that day would never come, you have heard right about the laws there, School bus traffic stop laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, but thats another story that there are violations of course but still at least such caring laws exist and many would probably be following those.

Yes its true this isn't the worst case that i took the picture of, but still it paints a grim picture of the state of affairs in our country. :(

EDIT: and its not just the school transport... i should've taken some pics of the four wheel tempos that ply on the greater noida expressway, there are at least 4-5 people who stand on a footrest specially welded for this purpose on the rear, apart from those who sit right in front of them with feet hanging outside the tempo (sitting facing the rear)... and this is on a road where most of the traffic is at >100kmph. just abysmal.

Last edited by eternalck : 15th September 2010 at 18:19.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:18   #137
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I am seeing these omni school vans daily. I see at least 5 and they are all in pathetic condition. The one in the pic seems to be at least kept immaculate. The ones I see probably use gas cylinders and maintain a minimum speed of at least 60 KMPH in narrow streets. Most of the parents have no other option. Schools don't care. Traffic cops need the regular tip off and they are OK. East or West US and EU are the best.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:32   #138
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The good part is atleast they have shifted to Omnis than Autos. Thats the only good thing I can see. Loaded Autos are far more dangerous and unstable.
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Old 19th June 2012, 11:09   #139
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Default School Commute - Are Children really safe?

Now that the schools have reopened and the children are back to commuting to school I have been observing the quality of their daily commute and I really do not like what I see.

Supreme Court guidelines
• ‘School Bus' must be prominently written/displayed on the front and back of every vehicle carrying school children
• If the vehicle is a hired bus, ‘On school duty' should be prominently displayed
• No bus belonging to an educational institution should carry children in excess of its permitted seating capacity
• School bus must have a first aid box
• Windows of the school bus must be fitted with horizontal grills/bars
• Every school bus needs to be equipped with fire extinguisher
• Every driver of a school bus must have a minimum of five years of experience in driving heavy vehicles and must not have any previous record of traffic offences
• In addition to driver, there must be a qualified person in every school bus as provided in Rule 17 of Motor Vehicles Rules
• There should be an escort from the school, preferably a teacher, in the bus to ensure safety

How many parents / schools are even aware of these guidelines? How responsible are the drivers of these school buses? Do they realize that they are transporting innocent children and that their wards' safety is in their hands during the commute? These pictures shot on 18th June 2012 morning at Kundalahalli Gate, Near Apollo Clinic on Varthur Road, Bangalore speak for themselves.

School Commute - Options for safe travel of children-vibgyor.jpg

All these school buses are jumping the median in an effort to shorten the commute. I can only hope they do not end up shortening the lives of these children.

The question is- do these drivers even realize that they are putting the lives of these children in danger by jumping the median as seen in the picture? An even bigger question that begs being addressed is “Do the parents even think about this?”
The problem stems from the fact that we are resilient to pretty much everything. I request each parent reading this to ask themselves these questions:
Who decides where the family lives? – Parents.
Who decides which school the child will go to? – Parents.
Who decides how the child will commute? – Parents.
Who is to blame if something goes wrong - Police and School Management?
Something doesn't sound quite right, does it?

Just look at these Autos carrying children packed like sardines. How can parents on the one hand claim to love their children and on the other expose them to such dangers twice a day?

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While it might be true that due to various limitations based on lifestyle of the parents, it may not always be possible for the parents to take ownership of accompanying the child to the school on a daily basis, I do not believe there is any valid reason for the parents not putting their foot down and refusing to utilize the services of such irresponsible transport options. After all, these transport options exist, only because the parents utilize them.

What do we do if we find a strand of hair in the dish we ordered in a restaurant? Don't we demand a replacement / refund? We do that because we are paying for it, right? Why can we not make similar demands here? Isn’t the safety of our children more important than a strand of hair in a dish? Why do parents allow themselves to be taken for a ride, literally?

The longterm damage from this practise, is that these children grow up believing it is OK to disobey traffic and road rules.

Change has to come from within. I hope parents wake up and do something. I am sure we do not want more incidents like what happened with Abhilash, a 13-year-old schoolboy, who was killed when his school bus rammed a tree and rolled on its side down the road near Attibele on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border in December 2010 or with B Kishore Kumar, student of a government school, who was killed when a vehicle mowed him down on Hosur Road when he was returning home from school on January 28, 2011.

Let us stop thinking “It will not happen to us” and start thinking “We will not allow anything like this to happen to our Children”

Requesting fellow Team-BHPian's to pour in their thoughts / ideas to eliminate this practise and make it safer for the children. Please also post how your children commute. That could give other ideas for a safer school commute.



Last edited by PatchyBoy : 19th June 2012 at 11:17.
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Old 19th June 2012, 11:36   #140
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

PatchyBoy - Thanks for sharing and highlighting this serious and dangerous business running around us.

Couple of heart melting incidences have happend in the past few months and goverment is not serious about the laws which can control these mishapes, it only boiling issue when something happens and people will also forget these memories soon.
So responsibility should be taken by each and every individual to support and change the system and secure our own childrens lives.
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Old 19th June 2012, 11:36   #141
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

Fully endorse all your thoughts. Good and relevant topic.

Its not just limited to Bangalore, I guess the scene is same in every major metros. The onus of ensuring the children travel safely lies with both the school and the parents. One way of parent participation in highlighting any transport related issues is through the PTA meetings which I guess every school organizes at a frequency. The school authorities needs to ensure that the transport contractor is well aware of the rules/regulations and the staff are well trained. IMO all the buses should have the mobile nos of the contractor/owner displayed prominently so that any errant drivers should be immediately brought to the notice of the concerned authorities.

I think the local RTO also have a major role to play to prevent the ricks from ferrying the school children like cattle. It is really a sad state where children are cramped to the hilt in a single rick, just dont understand how the parents tolerate this?
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:04   #142
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

My favorite topic, and i see you are from Bangalore so you will be able to relate to what i have to say. You pictured here some prominent school buses here are some of the positives
  • They are yellow in colour and have markings all around indicating they are a school bus.
  • Once the bus leaves Home/School a Attendant (and possibly a school teacher) accompanies the bus to ensure the kids are dropped off safely at their homes.
  • The school advertised sometime back that their buses had speed limiter installed on them, some even say they have GPS installed.
So all in all it does seem like they are reasonable safe to send your kids to school, right. Wrong! Here is why (Hence we continue to drop and pick our daughter up everyday from school)
  • One of the prestigious school bus, last year dropped one of the kid in our neighboring apartment at a completely different location. Which was not even close. Fortunately the kid was old enough to communicate the location of his house to a Autowalla, and this particular autowalla was honest and helpful enough to get him home. We shiver with the mere thought of something like this happening to our daughter.
  • Most of the school bus drivers drive rash (Very rash) and i am not sure if you remember, one of the school/college bus fell into a ditch somewhere near Varthur. Fortunately most kids only had minor bruises as they were bigger college going kids, if it would have been smaller nursery kids surely the result had been more dramatic.
  • Every quarter there is some news of some school bus either meeting with an accident and some kids fatalities or toppling over with some serious injuries to kids sometimes within Bangalore or sometimes within Karnataka.
  • Thrice i have personally seen school bus stopped mid way on the road due to some technical problem in the bus, and because of heat most of the kids crying. I cannot imagine the kind of torture it is on the kids and how would parents feel if they saw this sorry state.
In view of all this we continue to drop our daughter to school ourselves, although its painful but our confidence on the Bus service isn't high enough at the moment.

Whats the solution? well i haven't even had time to think on those lines yet

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 19th June 2012 at 12:10.
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Old 19th June 2012, 12:34   #143
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

My daughter's school (fairly reputed and collects good money as fees/donation) doesn't employ school buses. Their explanation is that they are not a transport company and they don't understand/cope with the issues of managing buses.

So, there are private operators who run Omnis (battered state, and I am sure on illegal LPG) on fixed routes. They have modified seat configuration to accommodate maximum kids. I am sure these vehicles fail 8/10 RTO regulations.

I avoided sending my kid by these and used to drop/pick her up myself for past 2 years. But it became very stressful and we decided to try out the van. In the second week itself the van was involved in a small accident (driver slams brake, kids are thrown around, few kinds have injuries)

In spite of Bangalore Mirror making a big story out of this issue, and the subsequent crackdown, vans which are not just road worthy continue to operate (and I am part of the system now!)
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Old 19th June 2012, 13:27   #144
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Whats the solution? well i haven't even had time to think on those lines yet
This is the statement that shows where lies the problem. The Govt can also claim they didn't had time to think over this issue.
Here in Goa majority of the vans, buses plied are not crowded but we still fear for our children, why, because the traffic and driving habits of few van drivers and other general public (esp Innova and Omni taxis) make us fear. Add to this the general attitude towards human life, one can understand the situation.
As money can be considered as root cause of all the reasons let's discuss the financial aspects. I don't know whether school buses are given some tax ememption or not by GoI, but believe they should be given so atleast reduce the financial burden on the operators. But at the same time I have seen the Indian mentality at its best, increasing prices in the name of petrol price hike, even though buses and vans run on Diesel/CNG. To make matters worse here in Goa, I have seen van operators demanding monthly charges for full 12 months claiming that they have to pay insurance for 12 months despite plying their vans as taxis during holiday season. The limits of human greed for money is just unlimited. Even if one pays through one's nose, it can't be guaranteed that one will get the desired safety assurance here in India.
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Old 19th June 2012, 13:50   #145
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

I have personally counted 19 kids in an Omni (doesn't belong to the school, but private, running on LPG). While parents might give n reasons, onus is on them ensure safety of their kids. I wanted to opt for transport and hence I counted the kids in that Omni. I backed off. Now one of us in the family takes the responsibility to drop my daughter.

Earlier he used have very dark tints. Now he has removed them and hence the kids are visible now. So hopefully when Police start drive against these school buses, they will stick to limits.

Similar discussion -

Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
[*]Every quarter there is some news of some school bus either meeting with an accident and some kids fatalities or toppling over with some serious injuries to kids sometimes within Bangalore or sometimes within Karnataka.
Most common reason is cleaner is driving the bus, since the driver is on leave or is late. Once such incident where the gardener was at wheels:


Last edited by msdivy : 19th June 2012 at 13:59. Reason: Adding accident link
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Old 19th June 2012, 14:09   #146
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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Yes, I remember that thread. I had posted there as well about the parents being the ones that are responsible.

It is the innocence of those kids packed in the Auto, but still smiling and waving when they realized they were being photograghed, oblivious to the danger they are in, that really made my heart bleed.

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Old 19th June 2012, 14:35   #147
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Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
This is the statement that shows where lies the problem.
Well, i did not really get the logic. How can the problem lie with me, or people like me. I have a simpler fix, we drop and pick up our daughter and that is a sufficient solution for now. My advise to all parents would be to not use such services, let such businesses bleed and die their natural death, until they provide safe and secure medium of transport to school kids.
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Old 19th June 2012, 15:04   #148
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Quoting a mom from other side of the world:
"So, here we are. My son has been buckled in a car seat every time he has riden in a car. He holds a hand while walking through parking lots. We lock up our medicine and household cleaners. He doesn't run with scissors, although he does use them to cut his sister's hair. He wears a helmet when bicycling. He knows not to open the door to strangers. But now that he has made it to the ripe old age of five, we are supposed to shoo him out into the big wide world, let him ride the bus to school, and hope for the best? It just doesn't sit well with me."

Those are my feelings too.

Article link: Feds reject request to require seat belts on school buses - The Washington Post
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Old 19th June 2012, 15:19   #149
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Boarding school insulated us from all this kind of thing. It s very sad that the pressures are so high on kids these days and of course on parents too!
Perhaps the time has come to reintroduce the old controlled numbers of children being produced in this wicked world. The fierce, ridiculous competition that a child has to face practically from birth stage onwards, effectively negates and spoils any chance of a pleasant happy childhood that the parents may have fondly envisaged for him/ her!
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Old 19th June 2012, 17:50   #150
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Default Re: School Commute - Are Children really safe?

Thanks for posting this topic. Today morning only I was thinking about it.

I aint have any kids, but some observations,

Everyday morning my neighbor's kids school van [Maruti Omini] wakes me up with very loud music. It is really very annoying and feel bad for the kids.

Also I have seen these vans drive very rash.

Today morning I saw out of two girls (should be in 8th - 9th class) sitting in front seat of Omini, one of the girl was almost sitting on lap of the driver. May be it is just me with some weird thoughts, but felt bit concerned about it.
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