190621 school bus
New school bus safety rules announced Image Credit: GN archives

Dubai: New safety updates for UAE school buses were announced on Monday, including an alert system for drivers and supervisors if a student is left alone on-board.

Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) revealed the updates, which also require school buses to provide a safety system for fuel tanks and protect it with a solid metal cover. It is also mandatory to provide the bus with cameras for recording and monitoring the movement of other vehicles on roads.

School buses will also become obligated to have fire extinguishers according to the size of the bus (medium or large); place a first aid box in a clear location, and provide the school bus with a means to limit the maximum speed so that it does not exceed 80km/hour.

Also, the school bus window should not open more than 20cm horizontally or vertically, and there must be a manual means to control the opening of doors from outside in emergency situations.

The updates were approved by the UAE Cabinet a day earlier, ESMA said.

The authority relied on updating the UAE standard, ‘Vehicles - Safety Requirements for School Buses’, which carried No. UAE.S 5012: 2020, to enhance the efficiency of school buses in the UAE.

Abdulla Abdelqader Al Maeeni, ESMA director general, said, “The development of the UAE standard comes within the continuous modernisation process for systems, standards and technical regulations, in order to raise safety levels and take them to the limits regionally and internationally.”

School buses will be committed to installing technical equipment so that schools, supervisors, drivers and traffic personnel can manage the bus and students in the framework of maintaining their safety.