These are two very popular requests geared at guaranteeing greater children's safety on school transport. The first is to equip all buses which pick up and drop off children at school with seat belts on all the seats. The second is to install an alcolock system on the bus, a device which immobilizes the vehicle if the driver has been drinking alcohol.
This measure has been requested by the Congress of Deputies and in conjunction with the Autonomous regions through a non-legislative proposal. The proposal is requesting an amendment to the Spanish General Traffic Rules in order to make it compulsory for all buses used for school transport to be equipped with child restraints as well as a system which immobilizes the vehicle if the driver exceeds the permitted alcohol level.
It is currently not compulsory for these types of buses to have the alcolock system fitted. Equally, only buses registered from 2007 onwards are required to have seat belts. The fact is that approximately 550,000 children travel by school transport daily. Furthermore, according to the Department of Traffic (DGT), there were 63,789 registered buses in operation in 2017, of which 35,962 were registered prior to 2007 (56%).
Specifically, the proposal seeks to amend the General Traffic Rules in order to prevent vehicles with more than nine seats from being able to transport children on the roads without any kind of approved child restraint system. In order to be able to install a child car seat properly there needs to be seat belts on the seat.
The Children and Adolescent's Commission is also calling for awareness campaigns for the use of seat belts and more monitoring campaigns of school buses. Fundación MAPFRE has been working towards this for some time now.
In this infographic we offer advice on how to transport young children by school transport: