The guidance will set out what local authorities, governing bodies of maintained schools and bus operators should do to ensure that they comply with The Safety on Learner Transport (Wales) Measure 2011.
The Measure makes it compulsory for all vehicles used for learner transport to be fitted with seatbelts. This will ensure that every child in Wales has a seat and is protected by a seat belt – effectively ending the three for two seating concession.
The responsibility for ensuring all buses, including minibuses and coaches, used for dedicated home to school transport are fitted with seat belts from October 2014 falls on local authorities, governing bodies and bus operators.
By publishing the guidance now it will give plenty of time to plan effectively for the introduction of the new safety requirements.
The Minister with responsibility for transport, Carl Sargeant, said:
“Safety on our school buses is something that every parent and schoolchild should expect.”
“The Measure will make it compulsory for school buses to provide individual seat belts for children and today’s guidance will help both local authorities and bus operators to plan properly for the new change.”
Compliance with the Regulations will be enforced by the Police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. Operators who are found to not comply are liable to criminal prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500.