Transport department officials on Tuesday began checking school buses in the city, as many schools are reopening in the first week of June.

Nearly 300 vehicles were checked by various regional transport officers in the city and suburbs, a senior transport official said.

The State government made the checking mandatory through a notification in the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles (Regulation and Control of School Buses) Special Rules, 2012.

The notification was issued after a six-year-old girl S. Sruthi, a class II student of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Selaiyur, died after she slipped through a hole in the floor of her school bus on July 25 last year.

Transport department officials said nearly 4,000 school buses plied in the city, and were registered with 15 regional transport offices, including Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides five unit offices functioning in Ambattur, Poonamallee, Sholinganallur, Sriperumbudur and Madhuranthagam.

A regional transport officer, along with three motor vehicle inspectors, will check the vehicles.

The inspection will include, among other things, verifying if the name, address and phone numbers of the school have been painted on the bus on its left rear side and if there is a proper entrance-cum-exit at the front with a suitable door and a safe lock that can easily be unlocked.

The rules also state that the footboard should be at a height not exceeding 300 mm and not less than 250 mm from the ground and that it should be fitted with non-slip treads. A grilled partition should be provided to separate the driver’s cabin from the rest of the bus. All buses should be fitted with an emergency exit door at the rear right side with quick-release latches.

The official said checking of vehicles will be conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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