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Destination Europe for bus safety team

The campaign to improve safety on school buses, Belt Up School Kids, is taking its message to Brussels. Pat Harris, founder of BUSK, is lobbying Members of the European Parliament to get three-point seat belts fitted on all vehicles taking children to school and on school trips.

Glenys Kinnock, MEP for South Wales East, has asked the European Commission if it intends to legislate for fitting belts on new coaches and minibuses, and to confirm that under the Treaty of Rome the British Government is free to introduce legislation on UK-registered vehicles. She asked for an urgent reply. So far the Government has said it cannotlegislate because of EU laws.

BUSK is also worried about regulations which say three children under 14 can share two seats. It is not illegal for 75 children to be on a 50-seater coach, although there would be no extra emergency doors or space for luggage.

"Why is it necessary to have strict regulations to govern the movement of cattle on vehicles, but none to govern the control of children on school transport?" asks Mrs Harris.

She has just launched an "adopt-a-seat" scheme in Wales, whereby local businesses pay for seat belts to be fitted to buses which carry their logos.

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