Local students in the Cootamundra electorate will buckle up on every dedicated school bus thanks to the NSW Government’s Rural and Regional Bus Seatbelt Program delivering seatbelts on a total of 123 school buses.
The program has installed seatbelts on 80 new buses and 43 existing school buses.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the program is delivering real outcomes for regional communities by making sure students can travel safely to and from school.
“Student safety is our top priority and with the completion of this $237 million program, school students will now buckle up on every trip,” Ms Cooke said.
“This program is about saving lives and we know that there is a higher degree of risk attached to school bus travel in rural and regional areas with buses frequently travelling and stopping on unsealed roads and roads outside urban areas.”
“From 2016 to 2020, 35 per cent of all bus passengers injured in crashes were children aged 5 to 16 years and one in four bus passengers injured were on a school bus.”
“Many of the roads school buses travel have a speed limit of 80 km/h and above and it is crucial that we do not compromise the safety of our students as they travel to and from school.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the NSW Government had completed the NSW Rural and Regional Bus Seatbelt Program two years ahead of schedule.
“More than 200,000 students will be able to wear a seatbelt on school buses delivering a welcome boost in bus safety for school children right across regional NSW,” Mr Farraway said.
“The NSW Government invested $237 million to help keep our kids safer on regional roads and today marks the successful completion of the program.”
“Regional school buses frequently have to travel on unsealed roads and on roads outside urban areas with a speed limit of 80 km/h and above and now thanks to these seat-belted buses in service, we know our children with be safer.”
Motorists are reminded to slow down to 40km/h when bus lights flash because this means a bus is picking up or dropping off children and that they may be about to cross the road.
The NSW Rural and Regional Bus Seatbelt Program delivered:
- Seatbelts on the entire fleet of almost 2,600 dedicated school buses in rural and regional NSW
- 1,145 new buses installed with seatbelts, and 883 existing school buses were retrofitted with seatbelts