Deadline for School Bus Safety Standards Extended by 6 Months

DUBAI- All school buses in Dubai have been given a six-month extension up to September next year to implement the safety standards specified by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

By Preeti Kannan

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Published: Thu 4 Dec 2008, 12:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:12 PM

School drivers, however, have to be trained and armed with a ‘school bus driver licence’ by March.

The decision to extend the deadline has come as a huge relief to schools.

“All schools must comply with the new regulations by sending all their drivers for training before March 1, 2009 and modify all their buses before September 1, 2009,” said an RTA letter to all school principals in Dubai.

Schools have also been invited to attend the RTA’s ‘School Transport Workshop’ in January.

In August this year, RTA announced new rules and regulations for school transport and issued a manual with the specifications, directing schools to make all the necessary changes to interior and exterior of buses by March 2009.

Explaining the additional time given to schools, an RTA official told Khaleej Times: “The reason was to give more time for schools and bus operators to effect all necessary changes as per new school regulations. September is the final date for all safety standards to be applied.”

He added that during the time, RTA could help schools with queries regarding modification to make sure all safety standards were applied.

“The extra-time is good for schools as it will give us time to look at the best possibilities and make modifications in time for the next academic year,” said S Qasim, Administration Manager at Delhi Private School, Dubai, which has received the letter.

“We had asked for time and it is great that they have extended it to September. It is giving us some time to complete work on all our buses. We have upgraded two buses and shown RTA the changes we have made, in accordance with their specifications and it has been approved by them,” said Col Augustine, MD of School Transport Services LLC, a company that operates over 700 school buses in Dubai.

Under the new system, all buses should be painted yellow; they must be equipped with electronic stopping arm and a flashers’ system; windows must be 50 per cent grade tinted or have blinds; buses should be well air conditioned; have sufficient place for school bags; and contain fire extinguishers and first aid kids.

RTA has also banned the use of additional foldable seats, side hand rests and ashtrays. RTA is introducing these regulations in an attempt to manage school transport and ensure safety for children.

RTAspecifications for school buses

  • They should be painted yellow
  • Must be equipped with electronic stopping arm and a flashers’ system
  • õ Windows must be 50 per cent grade tinted or have blinds
  • Should have proper air conditioning
  • Must have sufficient place for school bags
  • Must have fire extinguishers and first aid kids

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