Toni Street shocked no seat belts for young kids on buses

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One News

New Zealand is a safety conscious society, there are restrictions and rules everywhere particularly when it comes to children and their safety, as it should be.

Toni's view: 'It's hard to fathom kids don't have to wear seatbelts on buses'
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Toni Street asks why on earth seatbelt rules don’t apply to buses, particularly for little three and four year olds?
Toni Street asks why on earth seatbelt rules don’t apply to buses, particularly for little three and four year olds?
Source: Seven Sharp

But when Seven Sharp's Toni Street went on her first kindy excursion yesterday she could not believe kids do not have to wear seat belts on buses.

"The kids, three and four-year-olds, were loving the bus ride there, you know why? They couldn't believe their luck that they didn't have to put their seat belts on," said Toni.

The New Zealand Transport Agency's car seat rules are clear; children have to be properly restrained until they are seven years old.

From the age of eight to 14 the law clearly states children must use safety belts if available and if they are not, they must travel in the back seat.

Internationally kids are encouraged to be restrained until they are 11.

But the exception to the rule is passenger service vehicles, including buses.

Ministry of Transport statistics show approximately 130,000 children catch school buses every day, and from 2004 to 2013 there were 14 serious injuries and 95 minor injuries to children travelling on school buses.

Bus and Coach Association of New Zealand president Andrew Ritchie told Fairfax in 2014 that retrofitting could cost more than $65,000 per bus and would take the vehicles off the road for weeks at a time.

Principles and parents in New Zealand have called for seat belts in buses in the past but no effort to change the law has been made yet.

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