THE push to have all bus companies in regional NSW install seatbelts and ensure students are seated when travelling at high speeds has been welcomed by click-clack front and back enthusiasts in Orange.
The Central Western Daily website was flooded with feedback on the issue yesterday, after a report compiled by a School Bus Safety Committee was handed to state Roads Minister Duncan Gay on Monday.
Many concerned mothers said seatbelts on buses should have been made mandatory years ago.
As well as compulsory seatbelt installation, under the new recommended guidelines, no child will be able to stand on a bus if it is travelling on a road with an 80 kilometres per hour or greater speed limit.
“I’m for anything that will keep my kids safe. And yes they catch a bus that travels in 100 km/hr zones,” Judy Harris said on our website.
Anne-Marie Johnstone added: “Agree with Judy 100 per cent anything to keeps the kids safe!”
Clergate Public School, located 10 minutes out of Orange on the Clergate road, runs a bus to and from Orange to pick up and drop off children on a daily basis.
Fortunately, no children are forced to stand throughout the course of the journey.
However, there’s no seatbelts on the bus.
President of the Clergate P&C Lisa Shorrocks backed the move to have seat belts installed.
“We’d definitely be in favour of getting seat belts on the bus. It’s the safety of our kids and they’re made to wear seatbelts in cars, so why not on buses?” she said.
“We’re on country roads and they aren’t the best.”
Kinross Wolaroi is another school that sends out a number of buses each day to pick up its students.
Already, Kinross has its fleet of buses fitted with seatbelts and has a policy of allocating one seat to one student to ensure no child is standing while the bus is moving on regional roads.
Kinross general duties officer Garry Yeo said the school was very much a believer of having seatbelts installed in all buses.
“It’s a policy we’ve had at the school for six years now,” he said.
“Current legislation doesn’t cover it really but we’re very much of the belief that it’s important for students to wear seatbelts on our buses. Even on our 57-seater.”
If passed through state parliament, the move to fit school buses with seatbelts could cost as much as $55million per year over the course of the 10 year period predicted to implement the state-wide safety measure.
Orange bus company Apple City Tours yesterday declined to comment on the matter.