Belt up our school kids

By Dawn Cohen

Northern Rivers Rivers parents are being asked to join a statewide fight for mandatory seat belts on school buses.

The Ballina High School Parents and Citizens Association is the first in the region to support compulsory seat belts, and will vote next month whether to join the NSW Belt Up for Safety action group (BUS) in their push.

Ballina teachers, parents and students have been considering the seatbelts after two bus crashes involving local students in the past two months.

Three weeks ago, 39 Southern Cross K-12 students travelling south on Angels Beach Drive collided with a sedan at the Coast Road junction. Eleven students were taken to hospital and two women were seriously injured.

A month before that, a bus transporting a Ballina High School AFL team was involved in a head-on collision near Coffs Harbour. Four people in the oncoming Tarago were killed, but no bus passengers were injured.

Kaylene Batchly, whose son Jack was on the Ballina High School bus when it crashed, supports the call for mandatory seat belts.

"I am so grateful Jack is alive," she said.

"In future, there should be seat belts like there are in cars."

The Far North Coast P&C is yet to discuss the issue.

Ballina High School P&C president Graham Cork said parents were also concerned about students standing on buses and the state of local roads.

"I believe anything that makes it safer for the students should be implemented," Mr Cork said.

"Seat belts would require kids to sit down properly."

The Southern Cross K-12 School P&C will have seat belts on the agenda for its next meeting on September 5.

"It is a significant issue," P&C president Craig Copeland said.

"We will take our decision to the appropriate authorities."

The NSW Ministry of Transport is currently working with other states to develop national guidelines for risk assessment of school bus routes, a spokesperson said.

A month before that, a bus transporting a Ballina High School AFL team was involved in a head-on collision near Coffs Harbour. Four people in the oncoming Tarago were killed, but no bus passengers were injured.

Kaylene Batchly, whose son Jack was on the Ballina High School bus when it crashed, supports the call for mandatory seat belts.

"I am so grateful Jack is alive," she said.

"In future, there should be seat belts like there are in cars."

The Far North Coast P&C is yet to discuss the issue.

Ballina High School P&C president Graham Cork said parents were also concerned about students standing on buses and the state of local roads.

"I believe anything that makes it safer for the students should be implemented," Mr Cork said.

"Seat belts would require kids to sit down properly."

The Southern Cross K-12 School P&C will have seat belts on the agenda for its next meeting on September 5.

"It is a significant issue," P&C president Craig Copeland said.

"We will take our decision to the appropriate authorities."

The NSW Ministry of Transport is currently working with other states to develop national guidelines for risk assessment of school bus routes, a spokesperson said.



70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

"Challenging" bushfire now under control, but conditions may change

Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

premium_icon Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

It was first opened on Christmas Eve way back in 1925

Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

premium_icon Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

Nightmare robbery just two weeks from couple's big day

Local Partners