Independent Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today launched an online petition to ensure all school buses in the Kiama electorate are fitted with a seatbelt.
Mr Ward said that he has received numerous emails from parents and concerned constituents regarding overcrowded buses not fitted with seatbelts.
“I find it unbelievable that even with $237 million invested by the previous Coalition State Government that there are still school buses in regional NSW not fitted with seat belts,” Mr Ward said.
“Every child should have a seat and a seat belt. One parent told me that up to 19 children were standing on a school bus that was traveling at speeds in excess of 80km/ph. This is totally unacceptable.
“Transport for NSW simply telling children to just ‘catch the train’ shows how completely out of touch this new Labor government is. So much for a ‘Fresh Start’ which was promised by Labor.
“I encourage parents and our local school community to sign my petition urging the NSW Government to act now and expand the NSW Rural and Regional Bus Seatbelt Program to ensure every child traveling to school on a bus has a seat and a seatbelt.
“I’ve asked Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison reveal exactly how many school buses in the Kiama electorate that operate without a seatbelt.
“School buses in Kiama frequently have to travel on roads outside urban areas with a speed limit of 80 km/h and above we can’t have kids not protected when traveling to school on roads with high speed limits.
“I’m calling on the NSW Labor Government to put politics aside and put the kids first and expand this program so kids can get to school safely. I’ll continue to apply pressure on the NSW Government to ensure children in our region have a safer trip to school,” Mr Ward concluded.