HC Deb 14 November 1989 vol 160 c216W
19. Mr. Ian Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what moves his Department is taking to introduce seat belts into school transport and the use of warning lights and signs on the outside of school buses.

Mr. Alan Howarth

My hon. Friend the Minister for Roads and Traffic will be announcing later today plans to consult on draft regulations requiring the use of distinctive signs on school buses.

I very much welcome this initiative. The Department of Education and Science will shortly be writing to all local education authorities encouraging them to do what they can in advance of the final regulations to speed up the introduction of warning signs. We shall also be collecting other examples of good practice in promoting safety on school transport, to help authorities collectively in their efforts to provide the safest possible service to all pupils.

We are pressing European Community member states to agree common legislation on the fitting of seat belts on coaches and mini-buses. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport and I believe that belts can and should be provided and should he worn when available.