FAPS Mandate in School Buses and Vans

FAPS Mandate in School Bus: In a move aimed at bolstering the safety of school transportation, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated the installation of Fire Alarm and Protection System (FAPS) in school buses and vans transporting students, effective from October 1.

Why the Mandate?

The Central Government has enforced this rule nationwide with the primary objective of safeguarding school students during their commute. Manufacturers of buses and vans are now obligated to incorporate this safety system during the production phase.

Enhancing Safety Standards

Previously, regulations necessitated the installation of fire alarms and safety equipment solely in the engine cabins of vehicles (School Bus). However, the new mandate extends this requirement to encompass all buses (type 3) and specifically school buses, ensuring comprehensive safety measures.

Addressing Vulnerabilities

Studies on fire incidents in buses have underscored the risks passengers face due to smoke and fire within the vehicle. The absence of adequate time to evacuate passengers during such emergencies necessitates the implementation of mechanisms like FAPS, which can detect smoke and buy crucial time for evacuation procedures.

Regulatory Measures

Additionally, as per the provisions outlined in the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989, 1988, and 2021, the Commissioner of Police has been vested with the authority to take appropriate action against violations such as overcrowding of students in auto rickshaws, school buses, vans, among others. However, there is a noted lack of compliance with these regulations, highlighting the imperative for stricter enforcement.

The mandate to install Fire Alarm and Protection Systems (FAPS) in school buses and vans marks a significant stride towards enhancing safety standards in student transportation. By addressing vulnerabilities and enforcing stricter regulations, authorities aim to mitigate risks and ensure the well-being of students during their commute.


1. What exactly is a Fire Alarm and Protection System (FAPS)? A FAPS is a specialized safety system designed to detect smoke and fire within vehicles (School Bus), enabling prompt alerts and facilitating timely evacuation procedures in case of emergencies.

2. Are there any specific guidelines for the installation of FAPS in school buses and vans? While the mandate specifies the requirement for FAPS installation, detailed guidelines regarding the technical specifications and placement of these systems are likely to be provided by regulatory authorities.

3. How will the enforcement of FAPS mandate impact school transportation costs? While there may be initial costs associated with installing FAPS in vehicles, the long-term benefits in terms of enhanced safety and reduced risks of fire-related incidents justify the investment.

4. Are there any exemptions to the FAPS mandate for certain types of vehicles? As of now, the mandate applies to all school buses and vans transporting students, without specific exemptions mentioned. However, regulatory authorities may consider exemptions based on certain criteria in the future.

5. How can schools ensure compliance with the FAPS mandate? School administrations should liaise with vehicle manufacturers and regulatory authorities to ensure timely installation and compliance with the FAPS mandate, prioritizing the safety of students during transportation.

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