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Unruly riders may get ASBOs

Children who behave in an unruly manner on school buses could be subject to anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs).

The Vale of Glamorgan council voted this week in favour of a package of measures to help improve safety standards on school buses. These will include the use of CCTV cameras and, in extreme cases, ASBOs.

The orders are usually used to tackle anti-social behaviour on the streets or in local communities to combat such problems as drunkeness, abusive language, vandalism and drug dealing.

The move follows the death of 12-year-old schoolboy Stuart Cunningham-Jones, who died at Ystradowen, near Cowbridge, South Wales, when the bus he was travelling on left the road in December 2002.

Thirty other children were injured in the incident.

In January this year, an inquest heard that the bus driver had lost control of the vehicle when a number of unruly pupils grabbed the steering wheel.

The inquest jury heard that although the bus was carrying pupils from Cowbridge comprehensive, it was not a dedicated school bus.

A spokesman for the Vale of Glamorgan council said that the proposed policies, to be introduced from September, referred to school buses in particular.

He said the authority accepted that other issues in relation to youngsters travelling on ordinary bus services needed to be tackled by the Welsh Assembly and the Westminster government.

The recommendations will be discussed with schools, and CCTV cameras used on a trial basis on a number of school bus services. ASBOs would be considered in cases of consistent and extreme misbehaviour.

In the wake of Stuart's death his parents, David and Joanna, formed Stuart's Campaign to urge changes to bus safety.

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