Operators exceed capacity to cover cost
Ensuring school bus drivers in the country run their vehicles by the book is by no means an easy task.
However, Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association president Amali Munif Rahmat assured that they tried their best to ensure the safety of students.
Amali said the drivers would constantly be reminded to advise students to fasten their seat belts while the vehicle was on the move, but not all would listen.
“So, ways to protect these young passengers include driving within speed limit and ensuring the door is closed all the time.
“About 18,000 school drivers nationwide are well-trained and law-abiding.
“We rarely hear road accidents involving school buses,” he told the
Amali said only two per cent of road accidents involved school buses with an average of one death reported in five years.
Minister in the Prime Minister ’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said there were nine accident cases involving school buses in 2014, two in 2015 and none last year.
“I hope there will be no accidents involving school buses this year,” she said.
On the recommendation by the National Parent-Teacher Association to have students be seated while the bus was on the move, Amali said it depended on the bus operators.
For example, he said, the school bus fare for international school students was about RM800 per month for one student.
“These operators have the budget to equip their buses with global positioning systems. Some even have closedcircuit televisions where the parents can monitor the movement of the bus online.
“But, the monthly fees for public school buses are only between RM70 and RM80 per person.
“We have to get extra students and exceed the capacity to cover the cost, so we have no choice but to let them stand in the buses.”
Nevertheless, he said, they always tried to ensure no students stood by the door.
“When the bus is on the move, the door remains close at all times. We also only travel within a small radius.”