REGIONAL school buses could see seatbelts fitted as early as next year as rural routes are prioritised according to their safety.
Transport NSW representatives are liaising directly with individual contractors to organise the seatbelt installations, but local members want to know when and where they’ll be fitted.
All buses on routes with speed limits over 80km/h will have mandatory seatbelts, with the $208 million project to be implemented over the next 10 years.
Seatbelts will be fitted in 152 buses on contract A routes in the Northern Tablelands, 65 buses in the Tamworth electorate and 129 buses in the Barwon electorate.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said he hoped a number of dangerous routes in his electorate would see seatbelts fitted next year.
Mr Marshall was on the Independent School Bus Safety Community Advisory Committee responsible for the inquiry into school bus safety in rural and regional NSW.
The committee suggested that seatbelt priority be determined on the speed limit of each road, the condition of the road and the type of traffic using the road.
“I’ve written to the Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian, and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, and asked for information on the highest priority roads and the time frames for the routes in my electorate,” Mr Marshall said.
“Gravel roads, roads with heavy traffic and high-peed roads should be the first routes with seatbelts.”