Since October 2007, all newly registered buses must be equipped with a seatbelt on every seat. Adults as well as children must use the seatbelts provided on any bus that is equipped with them. During the last few days we have talked about this quite a lot, both in the area of school transport and the reasons why some buses still don’t have seatbelts and the regulations that must be complied with when children travel by various modes of transport.
Strangely enough there is only one exception: if a child is under three they are not mentioned in the regulations governing seatbelts or child restraining systems. This doesn’t mean that a child should travel unrestrained.
In case you are in any doubt, a bus company is not obliged to carry child seats on it’s buses, although you may take your own so long as it is an approved model that is compatible with the bus seats, and so and can be installed. Most seats that can be secured using a car seatbelt can be used in a bus that is equipped with seatbelts.
Although not required by law, some bus companies have found interesting solutions to this, such as the “ALSA Pequebus”.
Pequebus is a short wheel base bus, which has been adapted for the school transport of babies and children up to 5 years of age. It has several types of child seat: for group 0+ and group 1. It has seats equipped with adjustable 3-point seatbelts for older children.
The Pequebus is an experimental Project in which ALSA, Jané, the child seat manufacturer and the University Institute for Automobile Research (INSIA) have collaborated with the help of a grant from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
As well as child seats, in Europe and the United States other solutions such as harnesses, which can be fitted to almost every type of bus seat, even those without seatbelts. These harnesses are secured to the seatback using straps.
They are very similar to the CARES harnesses, which we are about to mention, that are used on airplanes. If you are in any doubt about any of these harnesses, refer to the corresponding regulations.
More information about the pequebus is available from ALSA using the following link.