The National Road Safety Authority has released new directives for schools providing transport services for children.
According to the Authority they have noticed that many school buses appear rickety, with sub-standard tyres and seats, without seatbelts and retro-reflective while others are not fit for purpose.
This, the NRSA believes “increases the risk of children to road traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths, as bus occupants and children pedestrians.”
Listing some of the offences committed, the Authority explained that some buses are often overloaded, drivers at times stop at unsafe areas to pick up the children and many buses have no adult supervisors on board.
“The leadership of all basic schools providing transport services should ensure that vehicles designated for the service are fit for purpose and drivers assigned for the service are qualified by law.”
“The Authority further observes that some school children attending schools located by the roadside in high traffic environments struggle to cross the roads to and from school without any assistance,” parts of the statement read.
To ensure schools are not endangering the lives of their students, NRSA urged authorities providing transport services for children, to not only use appropriate vehicles but also assign a responsible adult to the bus.
This, they explained, would help supervise the children and ensure that they are loaded and offloaded at very safe places.
“Schools located by major roads (in urban environments and on highways) should collaborate with their Assemblies, Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAS) and School Management Committees (SMCs) to designate traffic wardens who shall assist the school children to cross the roads during the peak hours,” they added.
The Authority urged the schools to submit relevant information on the details of their drivers and vehicles assigned for the transport service and traffic warden on or before February 28, 2022, via https://tinyurl.com/alertforschoolbuses.
“Please note that the Authority shall not hesitate to impose the necessary Administrative Penalties and other sanctions provided by the National Road Safety Authority Act, 2019 (Act 993) to enforce these directives to improve road safety.”