Costing stopping seat belts on buses

REPEATED arguments about excessive cost is the major obstacle to seat belts on school buses has been blown aside by data from the Motor Accident Authority.

Requested by Glenda Staniford, long-time campaigner with Belt Up for Safety (BUS) and now representative on the NSW government's School Bus Safety Community Advisory Committee, the figures show that over the last 14 years close to $140 million has been paid to 4337 claimants, who were injured while travelling on government buses.

The data is entitled: 'Compulsory Third Party claims against buses by passengers in NSW' and comes with the additional comment that "it is important to state that this data in no way can be taken to infer that the use of seatbelts would or would not make a demonstrable difference in any of these cases".

Mrs Staniford thinks otherwise.

"Children on school buses are being hurt simply because they don't have a seat belt on their school bus. Seat belts on coaches are mandatory but not on school buses, yet both travel the same high speed routes in rural and regional areas. This is an emotive issue but why should parents have to put their children on buses they know are unsafe?"

She said one idea for a solution would be for the government to require all new vehicles to be fitted with seatbelts.

"Maybe the government could even offer companies that do this some sort of financial incentive," she said.

Public submissions are now being called for by the SBSCAC to assist their examination of the issue. Closing date is Friday, September 23, please send to carolynwalshnsw@gmail.com.



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