The Tamil Nadu government has asked the State Motor vehicles department to amend the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles (Regulation and Control of School Buses) Special rules 2012 to install cameras and sensors in school buses.
The state home department, in a recent notification, directed the Motor vehicles department to ensure that school buses are equipped with cameras and sensors.
In its directive, the government has asked for fixing cameras in buses also so that the driver while taking reverse can have a complete view of the rear side.
Also, sensors should be fixed at the rear end to give a warning signal.
According to the state Commissionerate of Transport and Road Safety, there are 34,463 educational institutional buses that are plying in the state. If the Motor vehicles department amends the rules, then all these educational institution buses will have to install cameras and sensors.
Notably, the Madras High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of an incident in Selaiyur in which a Class II student had a fatal end after the child fell through a hole in the school bus and was run over by the bus. The court had directed the state government to undertake an exercise to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.
In another tragic incident that took place on March 28, 2022, an eight-year-old boy died after he was run over by a school bus inside the school campus where he studied. The accident happened when the driver was reversing the vehicle.
The second standard student, Theeksheth was dropped by the school bus inside the campus at 8.30 am on March 28. While walking to the classroom, the boy remembered that he had forgotten his school bag and walked back to the vehicle. The driver, Poongavanam, did not notice the boy was reversing the vehicle and fatally knocked down the boy. The bus did not have an assistant nor did it have a sensor or a camera that would have alerted the driver of the presence of the boy.
These incidents have led the state government to take steps for installing cameras and sensors in school buses.