School bus supervisors to check safety and driving will be trained by the ROP in the wake of the tragedy in which three children died, it has been revealed.
These newly created posts, announced by the Ministry of Education last week, are part of several measures brought in to ensure that a similar accident never happens again.
Dozens of pupils were also injured when the private school bus hit a rubbish truck and overturned in Qurum on Jan 22. Police later confirmed that the bus transporting pupils from the Pakistan School Muscat (PSM) was overcrowded. Speed has also been mentioned as a factor.
The new monitors will be trained at the Traffic Safety Institute in Muscat. Instruction will include advanced driving.
The ROP already helps with bus driver training.
“The ROP has been training hundreds of bus drivers since 2007,” said Col Mohammed Awadh al Rawas, Director General of Traffic.
Police will also be visiting private schools in the coming weeks to carry out awareness campaigns and advise on road safety.
Private bus firms ferrying children to and from school have already been warned to show more caution. Police will be carrying out increased on-road checks to ensure school buses are obeying traffic regulations.
Paperwork giving the age of the driver, details of his licence and information about bus supervisors (monitors) will also legally be required to be on public display in the vehicle, as part of a joint plan by the police and Ministry of Education.
Public prosecutors are still reportedly interrogating the driver of the PSM bus to establish exactly what happened. The 32-year-old driver was apparently experienced and had driven the bus for years.
He could face charges if found to be negligent or driving dangerously.