Government to Fund $40 Mn to Equip School Buses With Seat Belts

by Venkatraman on Sep 19 2007 5:31 PM

The AMA welcomes Government funding of $40 million to equip regional school buses with seat belts, but says more needs to be done to ensure all children have the same access to safe transport.

The AMA has lobbied for years for compulsory fitting (including retrofitting) and use of seatbelts in all school buses.

All buses that travel at speeds of over 80km per hour, not just school buses, must be fitted with seatbelts, according to the AMA.

AMA Vice President, Dr Gary Speck, said today all Governments should be moving to fit seatbelts in every school bus in Australia as a matter of urgency.

“The Federal funding of $40 million over four years is a good start but it won’t be enough to ensure a seatbelt for every child on every bus,” Dr Speck said.

“Many children all around Australia rely on bus transport, especially to get to and from school each day.

“Those children deserve the same protection as kids who travel in cars – seatbelts.”

The 2005 AMA policy resolution on seatbelts in buses states:

Recognising that the compulsory fitting and use of seat belts in cars has been extended to the drivers of trucks and passengers of taxis and to children using appropriate restraints in cars and taxis, the AMA supports the extension of this protection to buses.

The AMA endorses the compulsory fitting, including retrofitting, and use of seatbelts in all school buses and any bus that travels at speeds of over 80km/h and calls upon all State and Territory governments to enact the necessary legislation.