Himachal Pradesh bans school vehicles older than 15 years

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Shimla : Himachal Pradesh has banned plying of school buses older than 15 years and fixed the age of drivers to 60 to ensure the safety of students, an official said here on Sunday.

"The government has decided to cap the life of all school vehicles, including buses and cabs, to 15 years," the government spokesperson told IANS.

The stringent rules come in the wake of a school bus accident in Nurpur town in Kangra district on April 9 that claimed 28 lives, including 24 students in the age group of nine to 12 years.

A notification in this regard was issued by Principal Secretary (Transport) Jagdish Sharma last week.

The new rules included that the drivers above 60 years of age will be debarred from driving and a driver must have a five-year experience of driving heavy vehicles. The driver will also have to undergo eye check-up every year.

The new guidelines will be applicable to all modes of transport, including buses and small vehicles like cabs and vans.

As per the notification, each school transportation vehicle must have vehicle tracking system, CCTV cameras and a speed limit of 40 km per hour, besides provision of grills on the bus windows.

The carrying capacity of each school vehicle be limited to one and a half times the seating capacity declared in the registration certificate.

The driver and the conductor should be neatly dressed and wear name tags.