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May 20, 2009  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

U.K. bill seeks to bolster school bus safety


LONDON — Passing a stopped school bus would be outlawed, and school buses would have to be “brightly and distinctly coloured” under a bill introduced in Parliament last week.

The legislation includes several measures aimed at enhancing pupil transportation safety in the U.K., many of which are modeled after the school bus system in the U.S. and Canada.

Design and construction regulations for school buses would be implemented, including requiring them to be single-decked, to be fitted with three-point belts on every seat, and to be equipped with stop arms.

The bill would also mandate safety training for drivers and passengers, and it would establish a council to monitor and report on the effects of these school bus safety measures.

Member of Parliament Malcolm Bruce, who introduced the bill, emphasized the urgency of preventing motorists from overtaking school buses that are loading or unloading students.

“Too many schoolchildren have been involved in tragic accidents that could have been avoided if better measures had been in place, and I am pleased to have the support of Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum who back the need for change,” Bruce said.

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