Supreme Court of India’s Guidelines for School Bus Safety – School Catalyst

Supreme Court of India’s Guidelines for School Bus Safety


The safety of school children during their daily commute is a matter of paramount importance. Recognizing this, the Supreme Court of India has set forth comprehensive guidelines for school bus safety. In this blog post, we will meticulously examine these 17 directives, each designed to ensure the utmost safety and security of students while they travel to and from school. These are:

Clear Identification

  1. “School Bus” Labeling: The term “School Bus” must be prominently displayed on both the front and rear of the bus, making it easily identifiable.
  2. Hired Bus Indication: If the bus is hired for school duty, it should distinctly indicate “On School Duty” to differentiate it from regular transport vehicles.

Safety Essentials

  1. First-Aid-Box: Every school bus must carry a First-Aid-Box to address medical emergencies promptly.
  2. Window Grills: Buses must be fitted with horizontal grills on windows to prevent accidents and ensure student safety.
  3. Fire Extinguisher: School buses are mandated to have a Fire Extinguisher on board to deal with fire hazards effectively.

School Identification

  1. School Name and Telephone: The school’s name and telephone number must be clearly displayed on the bus for easy identification and communication.

Security Measures

  1. Door Locks: The doors of the bus should be equipped with reliable locks to prevent unauthorized access.
  2. Bag Storage: Adequate space must be provided under the seats to securely store school bags during the journey.
  3. Onboard Attendant: Each school bus must have an attendant from the school to assist and monitor students during the commute.

Speed Control

  1. Speed Governors: School cabs should be fitted with speed governors, ensuring a maximum speed limit of 40 kph for safer journeys.

Identifiable Appearance

  1. Distinctive Color: The body of school cabs should be painted in a distinct highway yellow color with a green horizontal strip of 150mm width in the middle, displaying the words “SCHOOL CAB” prominently on all sides.

Seating Capacity

  1. Seating Limit for Younger Children: If school children’s age is below 12 years, the number of children carried shall not exceed 1½ times the permitted seating capacity.
  2. Treatment of Older Children: Children above 12 years shall be treated as one person for seating purposes.

Driver Qualifications

  1. Driver License and Dress Code: The driver of a school cab must hold a valid license to drive LMV-Transport Vehicles for a minimum of four years. They should also wear a light blue shirt, light blue trousers, black shoes, and display their name ID on the shirt.

Bag Storage

  1. Safe Bag Storage: Sufficient space inside the vehicle must be provided to keep school bags securely. Bags should not be hung outside or placed on roof carriers.

Child Details Record

  1. Complete Child List: The bus driver must maintain a complete list of the children being transported, including their names, classes, residential addresses, blood groups, and the points of stoppage, route plan, etc.

Kindergarten Protocol

  1. Safety for Kindergarteners: In cases involving kindergarten students, if an authorized person recognized mutually by the school and parents fails to pick up the child from the designated stop, the child shall be taken back to the school, and their parents should be informed.

These 17 guidelines are not just legal obligations but moral imperatives, collectively ensuring the safety and well-being of our students during their school bus journeys. Also installing CCTV cameras in school buses can help monitor student behavior and enhance safety. It is the responsibility of schools, transport operators, and parents to diligently adhere to these directives, making certain that our children’s safety remains the highest priority.

Should you require further guidance or information regarding these guidelines and school bus insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your child’s safety is our top priority.

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