When student transportation services have become increasingly common in Vietnam, regulatory authorities recently have taken more initiatives to strictly define aspects of students’ safety.
According to the draft of the fifth Road Law under public consultation, the Ministry of Transport stipulates that vehicles involved in student transportation must adhere to strict safety and environmental standards. For elementary and preschool students, vehicles must be equipped with safety belts or age-appropriate seats. Windows must provide clear visibility from the outside. Drivers must have at least two years of experience.
Student transportation can be organized by educational institutions or transportation enterprises. Schools offering bus service must provide the local transportation authority with the proposed routes, stations, lists of drivers and vehicles along with characteristic images and paint colors.
Instead of mandating a uniform paint color for all student transportation vehicles, the draft law requires distinctive paint colors to facilitate easy recognition on the road. The goal is to enhance visibility and safety for these vehicles and make both schools and transportation companies accountable for their operations.
When transporting elementary and preschool students, schools must designate a supervisor on each vehicle to provide guidance, monitor students, and ensure safety throughout the journey. If a vehicle has more than 24 seats for preschool students, it must have two supervisors. Schools are also responsible for training drivers and supervisors to comply with safety regulations.
Student transportation vehicles will have priority and traffic regulation authority. The draft law proposes that warning lights, as described by the Vehicle Management Division, must be clearly displayed on the vehicles, which can be rotating lights on the roof or signs that read “Student Transport” to aid recognition by other vehicles.
Although these new requirements may increase operational costs for businesses, such as additional safety equipment and staff training, they are essential to prioritize the safety of children when using student transportation services. The absence of such regulations has led to several accidents involving student transportation vehicles in recent years, including harrowing incidents of children being forgotten or falling from moving vehicles.
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