UAE: Hundreds of school bus drivers pledge to ensure the safety of students

Workshop highlights that strict attention to speed limits and traffic regulations


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 5:12 PM

As many as 1,200 school bus drivers, including supervisors, recently attended a workshop aimed at raising awareness about the importance and ensuring the safety of school children during their journeys with the theme ‘Their Safety First’ at at Al Qasimia University Theatre in Sharjah.

The second edition of the event aimed at students’ security and well-being within school buses during the upcoming academic year 2023-2024, as part of their year-long awareness campaign.

Ali Mohammed, an Egyptian bus driver, who has been working for the last 14 years, said that such workshops after the long break help as a checklist before they start their daily work. “We follow every single rule while we are behind the steering. However, such workshops act like a refreshing activity before we get back after two months of break,” said Mohammed.

Ghulam Haneef, a Pakistani national, who has been driving since 2013, said that he will guide every child the rules of getting inside and disembarking the bus. “This event workshop taught me that children should not run toward the bus while I pick them up. They should step up after the bus stops completely. Although I was aware of this, it is good that I make them learn again,” said Haneef.

“It is crucial that we invest in the students’ safety. This event served as a learning session to complete school bus safety. During boarding, disembarking, and children onboard, we learned about addressing essential rules,” added Haneef.

The workshop also highlighted that strict attention to speed limits and traffic regulations must be followed and important discussions were highlighting the risk factors surrounding the school bus. The session also touched upon the need to follow protocol in cases of traffic accidents, fire, and fire and reminded participants to report any emergency to the children’s helpline number.

“This comes as the Child Safety Department’s comprehensive yearly campaign. We have seen a 33 percent increase in participants as compared to the last year,” said Fatima Al Suwaidi, administrative coordinator at Child Safety Department.

“Through this workshop, we stress the importance of coordination between school administrations, drivers, and supervisors as this raises the level of confidence of the child bus commutes making it a fun and safe experience,” added Al Suwaidi.

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