The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has given all basic schools providing transport services up to Monday, February 28 to provide information on their drivers and vehicles, failure for which sanctions will be meted out.
According to the Authority, it has observed that some buses providing transport services for primary schools are not fit for purpose, overloaded and have no adult supervisors on board.
It also notes that children attending schools by the roadside in high traffic environments struggle to cross roads, increasing their risk to crashes, injuries and sometimes deaths.
It has, therefore, directed in a release on Thursday, January 13 that all affected schools ensure that vehicles designated for the service are fit for purpose and drivers assigned are qualified by law to handle their bus while a responsible adult is assigned to the bus “to help supervise them and ensure that they are loaded and offloaded at very safe places”.
It also directed that schools located by major roads must collaborate with metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), parent-teacher associations (PTAs) and school management committees (SMCs) to “designate traffic wardens who shall assist the school children to cross the roads during peak hours”.
It warned that it “shall not hesitate to impose the necessary administrative penalties and other sanctions provided by the National Road Safety Authority Act, 2019 (Act 993) to enforce these directives to improve road safety”.