Published: 11 July 2018

Legislative Council Thursday 21 June, 2018

Ms FORREST - Mr President, I have a supplementary question for the Leader.  While she answered most of my questions, I did ask for a breakdown by locality in terms of the number of schools in areas that provide contract school buses.  I believe there is more in the regional areas than in the cities because Metro buses provide -

Mrs Hiscutt - For ease of paperwork, would the member mind providing me with that?

Ms FORREST - Same question, no different.  I will pass the whole thing straight over.

School Bus Services - Seatbelts and Bus Age


(1)  Regarding passenger transport service to transport children to and from schools, while the school buses are not fitted with seatbelts - I understand that none probably are except for the small ones -

(a)     Have any children suffered any injuries, minor or major, as a result of falling off a seat or being required to stand in the aisle?

(b)   If any injuries have occurred - 

(i)     what actions were taken to assist the child, and

(ii)    what actions have been taken to prevent the recurrence of injury?

(2)  How many buses transporting children to and from school are carrying more children or passengers than they are licensed to carry, as described in regulation 20, schedule 1, operational capacity of the Passenger Transport Service Regulations 2013?

(a)    How many passengers over the regulated capacity are they operating - the maximum and minimal number over?

(b)    Which schools do theses buses service?

(3)  What action is being taken to address this, acknowledging bus drivers avoid leaving children at the side of the road if numbers are exceeded for child safety reasons?


Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her questions. The precursor again is that before responding to the specific questions, I can advise that Jeremy Rockliff as the Minister for Education and Training and as the Minister for Infrastructure has asked the secretaries of those departments to work collaboratively on current seatbelt and standing passenger standards that apply to school transport.  In addition, they will consider how the Government can build on existing public education efforts to promote safe road behaviour around buses, noting as I did before that the incident history and crash statistics clearly show the risk of injury is greater prior to boarding and after alighting from school buses.

(1)  The Department of State Growth has no records of any children suffering injuries as a result of falling off a seat or being required to stand in an aisle.

(2)  While a number of services across the state operate close to capacity and utilise the three for two seating rule or standees, State Growth is not aware of any service which exceeds its operational capacity.

(3)   State  Growth works closely with bus operators when advised by the operator or the public that the service is close to exceeding capacity.  This will typically involve detailed passenger number reports being requested from the operator, including information about the number of students boarding and disembarking at each bus stop.  State Growth also regularly receives requests from operators to assign different buses to particular contracts to better cater for capacity.  Many of these requests are typically received at the beginning of the school year, as any changes in enrolment patterns become apparent.

Go Back