Consultation open on Seat Belts on School Transport Scotland Bill

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The committee it would particularly welcome responses from those with frontline experience of school transport. GARETH EVANS

Committee of MSPs wants to know whether making belts compulsory for all education authorities is the correct way forward

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee is holding a consultation on the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill, recently introduced by Gillian Martin MSP (SNP, Aberdeenshire East).

The Committee has invited all interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence on the Bill and its likely impact. It said it welcomes views on all of the Bill’s proposals.

In particular, it has asked four questions of respondents:

  •  Are you in favour of the Bill and its provisions? Do you think the Bill achieves its aim of improving safety on school transport?
  •  Where local authorities have already chosen to make it a requirement of their school bus contracts for seatbelts to be fitted on dedicated school transport, do you feel that this has been successful?
  •  Is there anything else that you feel should be included in the Bill?
  •  Will the Bill and its provisions have a particular impact on equalities groups?

Convener of the Committee, Edward Mountain MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Highlands and Islands) commented: “The purpose of the Bill is to require that seatbelts are fitted on all motor vehicles which are used in dedicated home-to-school transport services, and we want to hear views from those with direct, ‘frontline’ experience of school transport safety.

“The safety of children travelling to school is of vital importance. A key question for the committee is whether the bill will achieve its aim of improving safety on school transport. 18 local authority areas have already chosen to make it a requirement for seatbelts to be fitted on school transport.

“The Committee wants to know whether making it compulsory for all education authorities is the correct way forward.”

The committee’s call for evidence closes on April 14, 2017. On completion of its scrutiny of the bill at Stage 1, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee will share its findings with the Scottish Government.

Electronic responses are preferred in MS Word format, and should be sent to rec.committee@parliament.scot. Visit www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/rural-committee.aspx