New draft rules relax norms to regularise school vans – ET Auto

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Representative image.

The transport department has released a draft notification to amend the Karnataka Motor Vehicles (Conditions for Vehicles Used in the Transportation of Schoolchildren) Rules, 2012, aiming to regularise the operations of numerous vans, cabs, and other vehicles that transport schoolchildren without permit.

This initiative by the state administration is anticipated to benefit over 75,000 vehicle owners, more than 25,000 of whom operate within Bengaluru.

Under the proposed regulations announced by the department, vehicle owners or drivers can officially register their vehicles as school vans or cabs by securing a letter from either the school principal or the children’s parents. When applying for registration, they must provide comprehensive information, including about the vehicle and the driver as well as student data such as their school, names, grades, age, home addresses, etc.

G Ravikumar, state president of Karnataka State Private School Vehicles Drivers’ Association, said, “In 2013, the state mandated that independent school vehicle operators must acquire authorization from schools for permits. But school administrations were hesitant to provide such authorization since they were also running their own buses and vans and charging transportation fees. Meanwhile, enforcement authorities were booking cases against us for operating without permits, with fines ranging from INR 10,000 to INR 20,000, which was a major financial strain.”

“We had been demanding a simplification of these regulations for a long time. Following persistent advocacy by various unions, the department has now proposed to revise the rules. Henceforth, registering school vans and taxis will be possible with a letter from either school officials or parents,” he said.

The revised norms will assist those who’ve been using private vehicles to transport schoolchildren by allowing them to convert these into registered school taxis.

Feedback within 30 days

A source in the department said members of the public are invited to submit feedback and objections to the proposed regulations within 30 days from March 16, when the draft rules were notified. The rules will later be enacted following the publication of the final notification.

“Once vehicles are registered as school vans or taxis, the owners and drivers must comply with all safety regulations for transporting children and fulfil tax obligations according to the regulations. Those currently using private vehicles to provide student transportation services must register their vehicles as school transportation vehicles (school cabs or vans),” the source explained.

  • Published On Mar 19, 2024 at 10:18 AM IST

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