Indore school bus accident! Prevention is better than cure

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5th January 2018, Indore (M.P.)

Innocent school kids, teacher & driver died in road accident yesterday. We feel sad for the demise that happened, it has touched our souls; We can’t imagine the pain their parents must be going through, now we all are tensed, worried for our little ones & as a result we are posting our thoughts on social media, praying for their families, complaining against the school/management & raising our voice to the government asking to take strict actions against what happened.

Is it all that we can do? Will this solve the problem? Punishing school/management will stop future accidents?

No!

We need to raise our voice to government asking for performing risk assessment & identify potential causes and add preventive measures as mandatory requirements for licensing school & colleges.

I want to start with this & want to suggest few preventive measures which I have witnessed that have helped reduce the impact of accidents & saved many lives

Preventive Measures:

1. Safety starts behind the wheel:

All states require bus driver to have a commercial driver’s license, clean personal and driving record, and clear drug screening. Drug screening test should be performed periodically every year & school management should ensure it happens.

2. Implement Cruise control system (speed control system) in school vehicles:

CCS automatically controls the speed of a motor vehicle. This system can help to limit the vehicle speed depending on the limit decided by the local traffic management (example: 50 KM Max.) & control should not be with the driver. Vehicle manufacturers should implement this in all the vehicles (ordered for schools & Colleges) with in built speed limit.

Advantage - A driver who otherwise tends to subconsciously increase speed over the course of a highway journey may avoid speeding.


3. Maintenance and upkeep should be top of mind:

While safety responsibilities are placed on the driver, maintaining equipment upkeep is the responsibility of your district. It’s imperative to adhere to your state’s regulation in proactive vehicle repair. Schools should ensure to inspect their vehicles daily, and ensure your district’s fleet receives mechanical attention at least once a month. Conduct a preventative checkup for buses scheduled to take long field trips and commutes. 

 Visual Control –  Every school vehicle should paste a label on their windshield that will display below details:
Date of Manufacturing of the vehicle (Date):
Last maintenance performed on (Date):
Next maintenance due on (Date):
Driver Details:

 
4. Planned routes lead to safety:

Coordinate bus routes around safety, choosing roads with slower speed limits and plenty of sidewalk space. For oversized vehicles, changing lanes poses significant risks. Though drivers cannot avoid land changes completely, planning should be done to minimize moving into another lane on higher speed, multi-lane roads.

 
5. Implement a zero-tolerance-policy for irresponsible schools & drivers:

All rules & regulations should be complied. It’s the responsibility of school management to ensure it happens. No excuse should be accepted for noncompliance.

 



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