Come next academic year, only those who possess separate identity card and have undergone special training will be eligible to drive vehicles used to transport students.

Drivers completing the training will be given a special card tagged Basic Life Support (BLS). The project is aimed at ensuring the safety of school students in the district, District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said.

Minister for Transport V.S. Sivakumar will inaugurate the training project at Ernakulam General Hospital on December 17. It is the first of its kind training programme in the State targeting school bus drivers. The project is being implemented with the support of the motor vehicles department, the police, National Rural Health Mission, and the Indian Medical Association. A committee chaired by the Collector had been formed for the implementation of the project.

The training programme has been split into two sections, one each on theory and practical. Traffic rules, road safety, administration of first aid are some of the major areas that will be covered under the programme.

In the first phase, school bus drivers, drivers of vans and autorickshaws employed to carry students, and those of KSRTC buses will be included in the training. Drivers of other vehicles used to transport students will be covered in the second phase, Mr. Pareeth said.

Apart from BLS cards, certificates of district traffic council will also be issued to participants. Primary health treatment including eye test will be conducted on all participants.

The Collector said that drivers of school buses and of autorickshaws and taxis used to transport students within the limits of Ernakulam and Mattancherry sub-district education offices should appear for the first phase training on December 17.

Meanwhile, the marking of zebra crossings near all schools in the district is in the final stage.

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