Child rights commission demands implementation of Supreme Court rules on school buses

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Concerned about the increasing number of deaths of children in school bus accidents, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) at a meeting with officials from the state home and education departments, demanded the implementation of Supreme Court (SC) guidelines on school buses, which include installing Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker in buses and radio-frequency identification (RFID) on the identity cards of students.

A meeting was held with Nand Kumar, the Principal Secretary for School Education and Sports Department, SK Shrivastava, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), and Dr Varsha Rokade, a former secretary of Bar Council of Goa and Maharashtra and an expert for MSCPCR.

"The meeting was held to discuss how schools should ensure that all the measures suggested by SC are implemented," said Dr Varsha Rokade.

Installation of GPS trackers, radio-frequency identification (RFID) on the identity cards of the students and a dedicated pick-up and drop-off points with white striped demarcation like the zebra crossing were some of the demands put forth by MSCPCR at the meeting. "Installation of speed governors should be made mandatory to restrict the speed of school buses to 40 km per hour and the boards displaying the pick-up and drop-off points should be introduced to alert drivers of other vehicles to keep a watch on the students alighting and boarding the school buses," said Rokade.

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