Plan To Make School Seatbelts Legal Requirement

28 September 2016, 15:15

Changing the law to ensure school buses have seatbelts fitted would improve safety for children across Scotland, an MSP has said.

Gillian Martin, the SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, is bringing forward a Member's Bill at Holyrood which would make having seatbelts a legal requirement on dedicated school transport.

She told MSPs on the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee there is "currently no legal obligation for seatbelts to be fitted on such transport, despite the well-established safety benefits they can bring in a road traffic accident''.

But she said her plans for a Seatbelts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill intend to address that.

Ms Martin said: "It is my firm belief that the safety of our children and young people is a responsibility we all share, and as a parent and as an MSP representing a rural community I am acutely aware of the importance that the journey to and from school can play in those efforts

"That's why I'm bringing forward this Bill which will serve to increase the safety of children across Scotland.''

While many councils already insist buses must have seatbelts as part of school transport contracts, Ms Martin added that she wants to "build on this good work, making such practice universal, so that all pupils on such journeys benefit from this important safeguard''.

She said "extensive consultation'' had been carried out on the issue between March and June this year, with MSPs on the committee agreeing no further such work is needed for her proposals to go ahead.