Now, a `uniform' for students' buses too

V.S. Palaniappan

They will be painted `shell white' colour to make them stand out

Coimbatore: In a bid to ensure the safety of students travelling in buses belonging to schools and colleges, the State Government has amended section 349 of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicle Rules to bring in shell white as a distinctive and uniform colour for Educational Institution Buses (EIBs). The description applies to any type of vehicle irrespective of the model but used for transportation of students and classified as an EIB, sources said.

The Home (Transport - VII) Department in its Government order number 1095 has pointed out that "as the incidence of accidents involving vehicles commuting students is on the rise, it was considered necessary to initiate adequate measures to ensure safety of students."

Alert the drivers

Hence, it was decided to prescribe a distinctive colour scheme - "shell white colour" to differentiate the EIBs from other motor vehicles, so as to alert the drivers of other vehicles to drive more cautiously and courteously without endangering the lives of children travelling in these vehicles.

Such a practice of a special and uniform colour was in practice in other developed countries. The United States has yellow colour prescribed for EIBs. The choice of shell white was based on the findings of a study that stated that this colour would be an ideal choice for road safety since motorists would not miss it.

The draft amendment to section 349 incorporating this as section 349 A has been introduced in exercise of powers conferred under section 96 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (Central Act 59 of 1988).

The Government has also sought objections or suggestions, if any, which should be addressed in duplicate to the Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department, Chennai 600 009, within thirty days from the notification of the order in the Gazette. When contacted, the Deputy Transport Commissioner (in charge), Coimbatore Circle, T. Gunasekaran, said that a copy of the Government order had been circulated to all educational institutions as advance intimation circular for ensuring compliance. Adherence to the GO would be checked when the vehicles were brought for renewal of fitness certificate, he said. All the Regional Transport Officers and Motor Vehicle Inspectors have been asked to ensure compliance.