WA seatbelt upgrade completed ahead of schedule

By: Graham Gardiner


Early completion of a $22million drive to replace the fleet of public school-owned buses without seatbelts has improved the safety

Early completion of a $22million drive to replace the fleet of public school-owned buses without seatbelts has improved the safety of students, Education Minister Liz Constable says.

She says more than 150 school buses owned by the Department of Education have been replaced over the past few years, with new buses fitted with seatbelts in time for the start of the school year.

Constable says a commitment was made in 2005 to fit all buses used to transport public school students with seatbelts by 2015.

The Minister says the entire fleet of public school-owned buses is now compliant with the legislation, five years ahead of schedule.

"The Department of Education fast-tracked the program with the safety of students foremost in mind," she says.

"Western Australia is the first state in the nation to make seatbelts mandatory for buses used to transport public school students.

"The new buses - some of which replaced vehicles that were up to 40 years old - were distributed to public schools around the State in time for the start of this school year.

"Parents can be assured that students using these buses will be transported in safety and comfort."

Some 76 new buses were provided to public schools in the metropolitan area, with 78 supplied to regional schools, agricultural colleges and residential student hostels. Buses are generally used to transport students for school activities such as excursions and camps.

School bus safety came into the spotlight in the aftermath of a serious crash in Baldivis in late 2005. The bus, owned by a private school in Mandurah, collided with a truck and the 27 students on board were saved by their seatbelts.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook