Dubai: Deaths involving school bus accidents in Dubai have been reduced to zero over the last four years as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) fully implements the School Transport Law that was issued in 2008.

The emirate has seen a sharp increase in the number of school buses and students over the last four years but, RTA feels proper division of responsibilities to various parties concerned has helped in keeping the safety standards high.

“RTA has prioritised the school transport process in Dubai in order to bring it in line with the highest international standards. This is being achieved through conducting several studies as well as through developing and applying the global safety measures and standards to all buses,” said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Hashemi, Acting Director of Planning and Business Development, at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

As many as 131,491 from 224 schools use 4,560 school buses in Dubai, which is an increase of 18 per cent from last year, when 3,864 school buses operated in Dubai.

These buses are served by 5,179 conductors and 5,600 drivers.

“We provide training to all the drivers and buses who serve on school buses. We have made sure that all the rules and regulations regarding school buses are fully implemented. The buses carrying female students and boys up to primary level are served by female attendants and the law is 100 per cent implemented,” said Al Hashemi

In order to drive home various points of safety to all parties concerned RTA has published a School Transport Manual which is updated at regular intervals.

“The guide is distributed to school managements, transport companies concerned with school transport, and parents particularly as it details the respective responsibilities assigned to each party in this regard in order to ensure both the safety and convenience of the whole exercise,” added Al Hashemi.

Further ensuring the implementation of safety at all levels RTA is also offrering educative workshops to parents about the use of school transport, educating them on the importance of this transport system, directing their wards to follow the guidance of bus drivers and conductors, and communicating the school management about any behavioural issues of their children.