School bus
Radars have been installed on school buses in Abu Dhabi to catch motorists who fail to stop when the 'stop sign' is raised Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Ahead of the start of the term next week, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has reminded motorists in Abu Dhabi to make a complete stop when school buses display the Stop sign, or face a Dh1,000 fine and 10 traffic black points.

When students are crossing the road, buses must also use flashing lights, and motorists must also look out for these, added Abu Dhabi emirate’s public transport regulator, which is part of the Department of Municipalities and Transport.

The guidelines follow a comprehensive campaign undertaken by the ITC to ensure the safety of more than 155,000 students who use school buses in the emirate to get to and from school.

Bus driver responsibilities

During its campaign, the ITC stressed that bus operators, drivers, supervisors and attendants must comply with all the regulations and requirements that apply to school transport safety. Bus drivers must therefore conduct daily maintenance checks of vehicles, and adhere to road-specific speed limits and bus routes. Drivers must also ensure that they display the side-mounted Stop sign when making stops to help children board or disembark.

Supervisor responsibilities

Bus supervisors, on the other hand, must ensure that children do not disembark in non-desginated areas, and that the bus is free of students after the end of every bus round. Supervisors must check that every child is properly secured in the bus, and have a first aid kit available on the bus at all times. Supervisors and attendants must also assist children below the age of 11 years to cross roads.

Parents and guardians must be available at the drop-off point to collect children aged below 11 years, and bus supervisors must ensure that young children do not remain unaccompanied at drop-off. They must also educate children about safety measures during the bus journey.

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School buses must also be regularly sanitised and kept clean, and this is the responsibility of schools and bus operators, the ITC said.

Report violations

The authority meanwhile urged parents and other motorists to report any violations by school buses by calling the Abu Dhabi Government call centre on 800555.