Rules of the road

The Scottish School Board Association's booklet on "Safe School Trips", which has been issued to all schools, recommends the use of reputable companies with drivers who have driven abroad. Both conditions appear to have been satisfied in the Largs case.

Regulations governing school trips stipulate that drivers on long distance journeys should drive for no more than 10 hours a day, with a maximum of four and a half hours in one stretch followed by a break of at least 45 minutes.

The Largs coach had been travelling virtually non-stop for 22 hours, it is thought, and the driver on duty when the bus overturned is reported to have been at the wheel for about an hour.

The rules also state that all British coaches must be fitted with a roll-over bar which may have been important in saving lives in this accident as the vehicle turned over.

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