Inappropriate school bus emergency exits become death traps
A private school LKG student injured after falling from a moving school bus through its fire escape door in Edathala on Thursday night has sent shockwaves through parents. A similar incident was reported in Pallikkara, another suburban town, a month ago.
This in turn prompted the Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child to register a suo motu case, while District Collector Renu Raj requested a report from the police and Deputy Director of Education on the base. information that the bus crew had failed to provide adequate follow-up to the child.
The two students were lucky and escaped with injuries as the buses were traveling at a relatively low speed, while the timely intervention of residents of both localities to warn other motorists averted a tragedy. A CCTV video of the Edathala incident, at a shop in the area, has gone viral.
An inspection of the Al Hind School Bus, Pengattussery, Edathala surprised Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) staff as the emergency door safety glass was missing. “It turned out that this mandatory escape door component was missing from six of the nine buses the school had. The students may have accidentally opened the latch and the door opened even as the bus was moving, causing the child [who is yet to attain the age of four] falling from the moving bus on the road,” MVD sources said.
Subsequently, Edathala police arrested the bus driver, Aneesh Parekattil, 46, from Aluva. The MVD has taken steps to suspend its license, while the school management has been found to be failing to ensure the safety of the children.
The father’s complaint
In his complaint to the police, the father of the injured child, Yusuf AM, spoke of his daughter complaining of constant body pain after Thursday’s incident. “She still needs to be taken to hospital. These small children should ideally be seated in the front so that the driver and ayah/driver can watch them. What’s worse is that my daughter, who had urinated from the impact of the falling bus, was brought home on the same bus after traveling the full length of the ride, after which we took her to the hospital. The bus crew should have rushed him to the hospital and told me. No member of the school management has bothered to contact us so far, despite living nearby,” he said. The Hindu.
The former director of the Edappal Driver Training and Research Institute, Prime Minister Mohammed Najeeb, who retired from the MVD as deputy transport commissioner, spoke of the need to organize driver training courses. safety awareness for students, including how bus emergency doors work. “Ideally only children over the age of 12 should be allowed to sit near the emergency exit, as younger children would have poor psychomotor coordination and might try to open the latch out of sheer curiosity. All safety measures must be observed while a full-width crossbar could help avoid such recurring incidents.
Additionally, care should be taken to assign only trained drivers who do not drive under the influence of intoxicants since children tend to imitate their school bus drivers when they become adults, Mr. Najeeb said, PhD in psychological factors behind dangerous driving and speeding.