Owner sings belt-up blues

Dingo Bus Charters owner Andrew Reid shows seatbelts fitted to his buses are not one-size fits all for children as he buckles in Bianca Lack while Aari Jooste-Occhiuto and Maddison Lack look on.
Dingo Bus Charters owner Andrew Reid shows seatbelts fitted to his buses are not one-size fits all for children as he buckles in Bianca Lack while Aari Jooste-Occhiuto and Maddison Lack look on.

Dingo Bus Charter director Andrew Reid said retrofitting seatbelts in buses was needed ” but it was a complex and costly exercise.

He said charter buses operated under a different set of rules to Transperth and reform was needed.

‘From 2015, all school students have to be in seat belted buses but how will that work if Transperth doesn’t have to put seatbelts in their buses?’ he said.

‘Private operators are forbidden to carry standing passengers, why the difference?’

Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said although seatbelts were required on some charter vehicles, Transperth buses were not required to have belts due to the significantly different environment in which they operated.

‘Our buses operate on suburban streets, at relatively low speeds and with a frequent stopping pattern,’ he said.

‘The safety of Transperth’s passengers is paramount. For this reason they comply with all Australian safety standards, our drivers receive extensive training before they get on the roads, and our buses are inspected twice weekly.’

Mr Reid said to retrofit seatbelts to buses would cost about $30,000 per 45-seat bus, a cost that was ‘way beyond the scope of any private operator.’

‘Personally, I do think all buses should have seatbelts in them, it can just be a lap belt not a lap-sash, just something to keep the children in the seat,’ he said.

‘It’s time this whole industry was reformed and for all buses and drivers to be licensed and driven under one set of rules.’ The Advocate contacted the Department of Transport for comment, but did not receive a response before deadline.