New guidelines set for schoolbuses in capital

ABU DHABI — The Abu Dhabi Education Zone (ADEZ) has set fresh standards for schoolbuses from the 2008-09 academic year, according to Mohammad Salim Al Dhahiri, Director-General of the zone.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Our staff reporter)

Published: Tue 27 Nov 2007, 8:40 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:40 AM

Al Dhahiri told Khaleej Times on Sunday that the schools must follow the new standards for buses and minibuses from the next academic year to ensure safe transportation for the students in the emirate.

Moreover, the schools which are using old models of buses must replace them with new buses by the next academic year. Otherwise, they would face penalties, including fines which the Ministry of Education (MoE) would fix later, he said.

The move follows an accident last week in which 13 students were injured. The ADEZ has also received several complaints against some schools (both private and public) which used buses with no air-conditioning or safety equipment.

"We visited the injured students at the Al Mafraq hospital to ensure that they were in good health. The decision to set new standards for schoolbuses was taken after the visit," said Al Dhahiri.

The ADEZ and Emirates Transportation Company (ETC) officials met recently to formulate the new terms the schools should comply with.

"The schools should use good buses with air-conditioning and emergency exits in addition to special seats for children with disabilities," said Al Dhahiri.

He added that the Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) is cooperating with the zonal authorities to check all school buses next month before preparing a plan to review the licences of all buses and cancel the licences of old models.

The ADEZ in cooperation with the Traffic Department would conduct orientation seminars for drivers of schoolbuses to educate them on the steps they need to take during fog, heavy rain and sand storms.

Al Dhahiri said the ADEZ and the MoE have instructed the principals and administrators of schools to delay the commencement of the first classes by 15-30 minutes during days of bad weather.

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