Belt up call for school buses

VALLA parents are taking their concerns to the street tomorrow in their continuing battle to have seatbelts fitted on school buses.

Father of two boys, Simon Portus, said it was ridiculous that buses travelling at 100km/h along well-known Pacific Highway black spots between Macksville and Coffs Harbour

were not fitted with these life saving devices.

“NSW and Victoria are the only states in Australia where seatbelts are not fitted on regional buses,” Mr Portus said.

“Seatbelts are compulsory for coaches but there is a gap in the legislation that allows ‘route service buses’ to operate without.

“sIt doesn’t take much for a child, standing on a high speed bus, to fly through a window.

“Three years ago a Urunga school girl was killed when her school bus, not fitted with seat belts, collided with a car.

“We are calling for this legislation to be changed.”

The parents are part of the NSW group, Belt Up for Safety Action Group (BUS), founded in March 2001.

They say with 23 deaths over the last four years on this notorious stretch of highway, the section rates as one of the State’s most dangerous.

“So often it takes a tragedy for governments to act – it is ludicrous they continue to give this such a low priority.

“We want to the necessary changes started now.”

The protest will be held outside Valla Beach Pre-School from 8.30am tomorrow.



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