Special cabs now for school children

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SAFETY FIRST: Scenes like this may be a thing of the past soon. - PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR
SAFETY FIRST: Scenes like this may be a thing of the past soon. - PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Staff Reporter

Safety of little ones first and foremost concern of new policy okayed by Cabinet

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved a new policy and a new scheme for regulating school taxis used for transporting children to school. The scheme provides for fresh registration of such vehicles as ``School Cabs'' and the policy prescribes strict norms to ensure safety of the school children.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit decided that henceforth only registered school cabs would be entitled to transport school children in the Capital as the safety of nearly 1 lakh children who commute by such vehicles was all-important.

Following the meeting, the Chief Minister said the new scheme would be open to existing as well as new un-registered private motor vehicles plying only on clean fuel and installed with prescribed speed governors. They would also be required to comply with all other safety measures prescribed under the scheme.

Vehicles more than 15 years old would not be eligible for registration as school cabs. However, they would be eligible for registration as transport vehicles and for grant of contract carriage permits subject to fitness, payment of prescribed fees and taxes.

The registered vehicles would not be eligible for inter-State or all-India tourist permits. The school cabs would be required to sport readily identifiable horizontal strips in the middle and would be registered under a new series, DL 1K. They would be able to operate as ordinary transport vehicle when not transporting school children.

The carrying capacity of each school cab would be limited to one and a half times the seating capacity stated in the registration certificate. These vehicles would also be required to have a display board mentioning ``SCHOOL CAB" inscribed in bold black letters against a golden yellow background. They would also be required to have a carrier on the roof for school bags and would have to compulsorily carry a register of the school children with full details including telephone numbers.

The drivers under this scheme would be required to undergo special training including refresher training.

Ms. Dikshit said the vehicles would have speed governors so that they do not exceed the speed limit of 40 km per hour. Also, they would be equipped with a first-aid box and a fire extinguisher each to meet any exigency.

These cabs would also have amber flashing lights affixed to the top four corners on the exterior and these would be activated when the vehicle stops. Also, to get quick help in the event of an accident, these cabs would prominently display transport help line numbers both within and outside.

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