26 August 2016

Stevenson Backs Bill for Seatbelts on School Transport

'Vital Measure' in Promoting Safety for Children and Young People

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has given his backing to North-east SNP colleague Gillian Martin’s proposal for a Bill to ensure that seat belts become a legal requirement on all dedicated home-to-school transport in Scotland.

SNP MSP for East Aberdeenshire Ms Martin has today officially lodged a draft proposal for a Bill – strengthening measures to improve the safety of children and young people travelling to and from school.

Mr Stevenson has been a long-time campaigner for better safety on school transport and has worked closely with colleagues, including his neighbouring MSP Gillian Martin – to further this.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“The proposed Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill would introduce a statutory duty on local authorities and other education providers to ensure vehicles used in dedicated home-to-school transport are fitted with seat belts, where currently no such legal obligation exists.

“The Scottish Government has a long-standing intention to make seat belts a legal requirement on dedicated school transport and created a working group of key stakeholders to consider the issue over the last two years.”

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said:

“I am very pleased to take forward this bill which would represent another vital step in improving road safety for school pupils, and I hope provide peace of mind for parents and bus drivers with the knowledge of improved safety for children and young people on their way to school.

“No one thinks twice about wearing seatbelts in cars since the historical step changes in UK legislation – and I would hope to see a similar attitude shift stemming from this Bill.

“With this Bill it is hoped that by children getting used to having to wear a seatbelt on contracted school buses, this will translate into their attention to their own safety as they access other public transport.

“The Scottish Government has already worked closely with organisations such as Transport Scotland, COSLA and others in looking at this issue, and I look forward to engaging with a wide-range of stakeholders as we progress the vital Bill to ensure the safety of our young people.”

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