Schools in Ernakulam could soon face the music as the Transport Department gets ready to pull up managements that are yet to set up school cab safety committees ahead of the new academic year.

As per the rules, each school should have a committee to look into safe transportation of children, transportation fee and identification of bus-stops. The committee should comprise representatives of parents, private cab drivers and school staff.

A preliminary assessment by the Motor Vehicles Department on school cab committees found little compliance among the schools in the district. Private vehicles ferrying school children in dangerous conditions have often given nightmares to parents.

Explaining that a time-frame would be given to managements after the schools re-open in June to form the committee, Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer B. J. Antony said the list of schools not having cab monitoring committees would be prepared in the new academic year. The panels would be responsible for verifying compliance with the norms, he said.

The Motor Vehicles Department has initiated classes for cab drivers transporting children to various schools in Ernakulam.

The rules prescribe that only six children should be taken in an autorickshaw even though most of the vehicles carry nearly 10 students. Overcrowding is punishable according to the guidelines drafted by the Transport Department.

All private vehicles should also have speed governors and the maximum speed limit should be 40 kmph. RTO officials said the High Court had quashed the department’s directive that the vehicles should not be older than 10 years while applying for permit. But the drivers of school cabs should have an experience of at least 10 years.

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