Safety Advocates Call For Stricter Seatbelt Laws On Buses

Following primary school bus crash

Article heading image for Safety Advocates Call For Stricter Seatbelt Laws On Buses

Seven News

There are calls for tougher seatbelt laws on country school buses following the Exford Primary School bus crash which left seven students in hospital.

Community road safety advocate, Donald Gibb, who was a key person behind Victoria’s mandatory seatbelt laws, told the Herald Sun Tuesday’s incident was a “reinforcement” that children should have to wear seatbelts on buses.

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Currently, it is only a recommendation by the Department of Transport and Planning that “as a minimum children should use the seatbelts provided”, however there is no requirement for adults to ensure children do wear use them.

It is therefore the passenger’s obligation to wear the seatbelt, and not the driver’s responsibility to enforce.

“Irrespective of the distance, the benefits of seatbelts are undoubted,” Mr Gibb told the Herald Sun.

“It’s such a simple precaution to take. There are very horrific injuries when seatbelts are not worn.”

Seatbelts in rural buses were begun being fitted in 2013, with it later mandated in 2018 for all new buses to be retrofitted with old buses and seatbelts.

Truck driver granted bail: 

The driver of the truck which collided into the school bus has been released on bail following being charged with four counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury.

Jamie Gleeson, 49, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court via videolink from Sunshine Police Station.

The court heard he tested negative to drugs and alcohol, and while at the site of the crash, called Triple 000 and assisted children getting off the bus, as well as helping police begin their investigation. 

Gleeson is expected to face court again in October.

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Tricia Mifsud

18 May 2023

Article by:

Tricia Mifsud

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