Par­ents raise school bus seat­belt fears

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Dampier par­ents have ex­pressed con­cern over the lack of seat­belts and avail­able seats on the school bus route into Kar­ratha since the Tran­sKar­ratha public ser­vice came into op­er­a­tion.

Pre­vi­ously, a free bus was pro­vided with seat­belts for the school run, but since public trans­port was in­tro­duced this year that has no longer been the case.

Con­cerned par­ent Jas­min Ashcroft said many par­ents were wor­ried about hav­ing their chil­dren stand­ing up on the 100km/h Dampier High­way leg of the route.

“Grown adults are not al­lowed to drive around with­out seat­belts and yet we are ex­pected to al­low our kids trav­el­ling to Kar­ratha to stand at 100km/h with­out seat­belts,” she said.

“Rio Tinto em­ploy­ees aren’t even al­lowed to get around with­out seat­belts on site and they are only trav­el­ling at 40km/h. We are pay­ing for a ser­vice now that is in­fe­rior to what we used to get for free.”

Public Trans­port Author­ity spokesman David Hynes said it was com­mon prac­tice across the world for chil­dren to stand on buses.

“The new Tran­sKar­ratha buses com­ply with all ap­pli­ca­ble Aus­tralian stan­dards and have a max­i­mum li­censed load ca­pac­ity of 82 pas­sen­gers — 44 of whom can be seated. This is con­sis­tent with school bus spe­cials op­er­ated around the State,” he said. “The in­te­rior lay­out of the bus is care­fully planned to safely cater for the great­est num­ber of pas­sen­gers al­lowed.”

Mr Hynes said driv­ers had in­formed the PTA few chil­dren were left to stand on the Dampier High­way section of the trip — a state­ment Mrs Ashcroft be­lieved to be un­true.

She con­ceded the par­ents were likely fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle.

“It is the PTA who made the de­ci­sion that this was ac­cept­able, but I will al­ways say it is un­ac­cept­able for kids to be stand­ing at these speeds,” she said.

The ser­vice from Wick­ham to Kar­ratha does have seat­belts and is not a stan­dard PTA bus.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.