In 2015, 27 school buses were involved in accidents in which nine passengers were injured. With the objective of avoiding more of these incidents and to guarantee safety, the Directorate-General of Traffic (DGT) has launched a special campaign for monitoring school transport with a week of intensified spot checks.
There are no fewer than 230,000 schoolchildren who use a school bus to get to and from school every day. Although it is a safe mode of transport, the vulnerability of the passengers and the routes they usually take (on conventional roads), makes it particularly necessary to be vigilant.
The campaign will operate between Monday 16 and Friday 20 January for buses assigned to the transport of schoolchildren. Agents from the Traffic Group of the Civil Guard will start by making an administrative check on the permits and documentation that these vehicles should hold in order to perform this service.
Next, there will be a check on compliance with technical aspects and the necessary safety features required by law, as well as special requirements that drivers themselves must comply with in terms of their driving license, driving hours and rest periods.
At the same time it will also be verified that the drivers are traveling at the legal speed and that are not using a mobile phone or other devices that could cause a distraction (the main causes of accidents with these types of vehicle).
Controls for alcohol and drugs will also be intensified for these drivers with special attention given to ensuring they are wearing a seat belt. Remember that all buses registered since October 2007 must be equipped with seat belts. In fact, over 60% of the vehicles used for this purpose already have seat belts installed.
As the DGT point out with the support of various studies, wearing seat belts in buses reduces fatal injuries by 90% in the case of head-on collisions or overturning, because a correctly fastened seat belt avoids the passenger being thrown forward (adult or child) and reduces impact to the chest, stomach and legs.
The checks will be carried out on both urban and interurban roads, and all municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants have been invited to take part in the monitoring campaign.
We also recommend our infographic on the appearance of ‘the first approved child seat for buses’ and the ‘use of child seats in various means of public transport’.