SCHOOL BUSES TO CARRY MORE KIDS
Rules change as minibuses are axed
The operators of school buses will soon be able to install more seats on vehicles as part of changes to transport regulations.
Companies and schools that operate their own large buses - those with a capacity of more than 50 - can replace 2+2 seating with 2+3 from April 1, as long as there are two attendants, two fire extinguishers and two first aid kits on board.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said expansion comes as schools are told to phase out the use of minibuses by the end of this month.
Adel Shakri, Director of Planning and Business Development at the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said the move is part of a range of changes, including all buses being tracked by GPS for safety.
He said: “Due to safety and security implications, and to increase the capacity of school buses, March 1 had been set as a deadline for abolishing the use of minibuses (less than 6.2m in length) in school transport services, following the granting of an 18 months grace period to schools for phasing out this sort of buses from school transport fleets.
“The implementation of the School Transport Law has played a crucial role in maintaining the safety of different age groups of students using school buses.
“This is evident from the drop in the number of annual accidents recorded in this sector by 10 per cent.” He added that schools have been given an extra month to phase out minibuses. Shakri said: “Among the key achievements made by the school transport sector in Dubai is cutting fatalities to zero in 2015.”
A new educational advert campaign featuring characters from the hit Arabic programme Iftah Ya Simsim is to be aired on television channels across the Gulf. The adverts are to promote the Alphabet Song and feature Lebanese-American pop singer Mayssa Karaa. It has been written for children to sing with their mothers and has been released to coincide with Mother’s Day. Cairo Arafat, from producers Bidaya Media, said: “The time a mother spends with her children is invaluable and unforgettable, as it affects the child’s growth and well-being greatly. Iftah Ya Simsim always strives to create fun methods of learning.”