Concerns raised over School Bus Safety

Parents from the Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest area have invited Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington to meet with them and voice their concerns about school bus safety.

Kate Washingtom MP Shadow Minister For Early Childhood Education with concerned parents at Tea Gardens.
Kate Washington MP Shadow Minister For Early Childhood Education with concerned parents at Tea Gardens.

Parents have outlined their concerns about their children travelling to school along the Pacific Highway at 100km/h with no seat belts, seating three to a seat and with some students standing up.

Some have recalled recent experiences where the bus has stopped at weigh-in stations and students have been asked to move from one side to the other to ensure the weight is level.

A 2012 Parliamentary enquiry recommended the banning of students standing on high speed school buses by mid 2013. The Government instead chose to implement this by 2023.

The installation of seat belts for school buses was also recommended by this committee however this is also not due for completion until 2023.

Ms Washington said, “Parents want to know that their children are safe as they go to and from school.”

“I have called on the Government to give parents a timeframe for when school buses in the Port Stephens region will be required to have seat belts, but I am still waiting for an answer,” Ms Washington told News Of The Area.

Samantha Leggatt from Tea Gardens said, “Our main concern is the safety of our children travelling down high speed roads without seat belts or standing in the aisle.”

“It is absurd. What will it take for the government to act? Ideally we’d like to see seat belts on all school buses,” said Ms Leggart.

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