Mumbai School Bus Operators Demand Fee Hike After Parents Ask to Install Seat Belt

Parents of school students in Mumbai have requested schools to make sure that the buses should adhere to the seat belt rule for the safety of the children. Most of the schools hire private operators and do not monitor how the buses are run on a daily basis. The bus operators have now to decided to hike fees citing extra incurred in installing seat belts.

According to a leading news daily, parents feel that bus operators were trying to avoid adding seat belts as it would bring a financial task. Buses that travel for shorter distances have flat seats. Fixing belts will be expensive, said one of the bus operators.

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Parents, on the other hand, are fearing that not fixing the seat belts may come at the cost of the lives of their children. They feel that school buses must have seat belts and a failure to do so should lead to heavy fine impositions on the bus operators.

Several accidents involving school buses have led to parents’ concern over the safety of their kids.

With increasing road accidents in India, civic authorities are ensuring road safety measures and rules. The death of former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry sparked the debate over compulsory seatbelts for all passengers in a vehicle. Recently, a bus accident in Palakkad, Kerala claimed nine lives including 5 school students. During the hearing of this case, Kerala High Court suggested having seat belts and airbags in buses as well.

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Seat belts were made compulsory for school buses in Chandigarh in 2020. The decision was opposed by the bus operators who said that it was not feasible for them. They suggested kids are playful and might play pranks and wrap the belts around the neck and injure each other. And finally, during an emergency, seat belts will create problems in quickly getting the children out of the bus, reported the leading news daily.

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