UAE: Golden rules school bus drivers must follow to keep kids safe

Child Safety Department held workshops about security procedures



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 3:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 10:37 PM

In the next few days, children will be back to school, and along with them, the bus drivers and the supervisors will also resume their duty. To brush up on the safety procedures of school bus drivers and supervisors, the Child Safety Department, affiliated with the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Sharjah, organized a two-day safety, awareness, and learning workshop for them at Qasimiya University in Sharjah.

On the first day of the workshop, nearly 450 drivers and supervisors attended workshops led by the civil department, police, and safety department.

Abdul Kafi Abu Zaid
Abdul Kafi Abu Zaid

Abdul Kafi Abu Zaid, a Syrian national who has been working as a school bus driver for the last twenty years, explained the difference between driving a private bus and a school bus. “We have been taught to keep safety at the highest. The session conducted by the officials are enlightening and will help us follow the well-being and safety of the children from embarking on the bus to reaching their respective homes,” said Abu Zaid.

“We carry a huge responsibility on our shoulders for the children’s commute, and we must notice the tiniest of hazards on the road,” added Abu Zaid.

Nahla Hamdan Al Saadi, deputy manager, Child Safety Department, Sharjah, said that the two-day workshop highlights the proper steps to handle any issues that school buses may encounter on the road, like accidents or fire, and raises awareness on how to maintain the highest safety standards for schoolchildren.

“On the first day of the workshop, we are joined by 450 bus drivers and supervisors in Sharjah city. Tomorrow, we will target the same number in the central and eastern region of the emirate,” said Al Saadi.

Commenting on the safety of children, Al Saadi said that the workshop aligns with their ongoing mission to safeguard children and raise community awareness on safety procedures to ensure students’ safety as they embark on a new academic year.

“Through this workshop, we aim to keep children’s safety at the core of the daily operations of every stakeholder charged with care and protection of our young, loved ones,” said Al Saadi.

Here are some of the rules the drivers learned during the workshop:

1. Drivers must ensure safety procedures are followed at all times

2. They must have total concentration when driving

3. They should be fit

4. They must sleep on time

5. Drivers should avoid stress

6. Personal hygiene must be maintained

7. Buses should be in perfect condition to commute on roads

8. A complete exterior visual check of the bus must be done before starting

9. Drivers must check on the irregular noises from the bus after starting

10. They must also check gear, accelerator, brakes, mirror, and other functional parts of the bus

11. They must learn about helping children in embarking and disembarking

12. They should help children to sit on designated seats

13. Traffic rules must be followed at all times

14. Buses must always be kept in the right lane

15. In case of fire, the drivers were told t stop the bus, evacuate, and call civil defence authorities

16. Not taking care of a child is an offence, and if bus drivers notice any child abuse they must call 800700

Mohammed Usman, a Pakistani expat who has been a school bus driver for the last seven years, said that the training session has been an eye opener after a break of nearly two months.

“Such training is required for us, as we may tend to forget little things. But now we will have complete concentration and notice everything in detail,” said Usman.

“We have been taught to strictly check the functioning of the stop sign on the left side of the bus, functioning of the humidity sensor, bell, window breaking tool before children embark on the bus,” he added.

Another bus driver, Mohammed Arif, stressed on remembering the total number of children on the bus. “I will always follow all the instructions for the safety of children. I will make sure to count the number of children entering the bus and exiting the bus,” said Arif.

“We were also taught how to manage and take control of the unforeseen and dangerous situation, which is now ingrained in me.”

A quiz was also held for the drivers, and a few took away prizes.

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