RTA Unveils Violations in School Bus Inspections


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Ensuring the safety of students during their commute to school is of paramount importance. Recently, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai uncovered concerning violations related to school bus operations, shedding light on the need for strict adherence to safety standards in the transportation of students.

school bus

Inspection Overview

Between July and December of 2023, the RTA conducted a total of 6,323 inspections of school buses. These inspections aimed to assess compliance with safety regulations and ensure that school bus drivers and transport attendants held the necessary permits.

Violations Unearthed

The findings, however, revealed that some individuals were operating without the required permits, raising questions about the safety and legality of their services. The violations observed by the RTA encompassed a range of issues, including operating school transport without a permit, employing unauthorized drivers, disregarding technical specifications approved by the RTA regarding seats, and non-compliance with the approved interior and exterior appearances of school buses.

school bus

Safety Equipment Absence

Additionally, other safety rules were violated, such as the absence of essential safety equipment like fire extinguishers, GPS tracking systems, and cameras inside the buses.

Permits and Requirements

One crucial requirement for school bus drivers is obtaining a permit of the same category as their UAE driving license from the RTA. To acquire this permit, drivers must successfully complete necessary training, pass a test administered by the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, and meet specific criteria.

School Transport Attendants

Similarly, school transport attendants or bus aides are required to obtain a permit to work from the RTA. They must meet criteria such as being of good conduct, being at least 25 years old, being medically fit, and passing tests approved by the RTA.

Female Supervision Requirement

In an effort to enhance safety, the RTA mandates the presence of a female supervisor on buses transporting male students up to the fifth grade and female students up to high school. This measure aims to provide an additional layer of security and supervision during students’ journeys.

school bus

Technical Specifications and Safety Features

The RTA also emphasized specific technical specifications for bus seats and safety features. These include the installation of safety belts with two meeting points on all passenger seats and an electronic tracking system or GPS to monitor the location of the school bus. The bus’s interior and exterior must be free of sharp edges, designated spaces for bags should be provided, and emergency exits should be commensurate with the number of passengers.

Bus Safety Standards

Furthermore, the RTA sets standards for bus safety, including a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h, the installation of a speed control device, a first aid box with supplies corresponding to the number of seats, and the requirement of a fire extinguisher with specified capacity.

Regular Inspections and Actions

Regular inspections are a key part of the RTA’s commitment to ensuring school bus safety. Intensive inspection campaigns are conducted at the beginning of each semester, and periodic inspections are carried out when school buses are spotted in the field. Violations result in issued notices, and periodic reports are submitted to the Planning and Business Development Department for necessary actions.

school bus

Facility Re-visits

Educational facilities with violations undergo re-visits after the completion of inspection campaigns to assess their compliance. These measures underscore the RTA’s dedication to upholding safety standards and ensuring that school buses provide a secure and reliable mode of transportation for students.


In conclusion, the recent revelations by the RTA shed light on the importance of stringent safety measures in school bus operations. By addressing violations and implementing robust inspection protocols, Dubai’s transportation authorities are actively working towards creating a safer environment for students during their daily commute.

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