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The reasons why a lot of buses still have no child restraining systems

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19/06/2015

There is no doubt that seatbelts save lives, reduce violent knocks and stop us from being thrown out of the vehicle.

This is why there are special types of seatbelts for children which are adapted for their height and characteristics: the generic term is child restraining systems, seats that are fitted with harnesses or something similar to secure the child in the same way as a seatbelt does thereby reducing the severity of accidents.

As of October 2007 it is obligatory for all new buses to be fitted with a seatbelt on every seat and that they must be worn by anyone over three years of age as stipulated in the general traffic regulations.

As you might imagine, economically it is not viable to expect a company to renovate their fleet overnight, sometimes it is not possible to install seatbelts in a bus already in service, the law in this case does not require that they are fitted and establishes a transitionary period: if the bus is under 10 years old it can remain in service without seatbelts. To encourage the upgrading of the fleet there is an incentive scheme that allows them to travel at the same speed as automobiles on the most roads.

In fact the time allowed can be longer, remember the regulations on school transport: if the bus was registered and used for school transportation before the law came into force, it can be used until it reaches 16 years old. This means that we may encounter buses without seatbelts right up until 2023.

The same can occur with child restraining systems, the law requires that buses carry child seats, however it is understood that it would be very difficult for the companies providing the service to have different seats available for every age group on every bus. It would be impossible to know how many of each was required.

It is therefore providing child restraining systems on a bus is voluntary.  Some companies are able to provide a seat if it is pre-ordered. It would depend on them whether or not they charge but they normally wouldn’t.

There is always the option for the parent to take their own seat which they can install themselves so long as it is compatible with the bus seats and can be installed correctly as we have explained previously.

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