Chapter 32:        SCHOOL BUSES AND ROAD SAFETY


 

MOTION: That the Rudd Government immediately seek to require all State Governments to implement nationally common traffic regulations that would require motor vehicles to come to a halt in the vicinity of a school bus whenever it comes to a halt with flashing lights for purposes of picking up or setting down school students safely.

Rationale:

Many people would be aware of the dangers inherent in having gung-ho motor vehicle drivers behaving aggressively in the vicinity of school buses that have stopped to pick up or set down school students. The fact that school buses usually perform their function on the road during peak-hour exacerbates congestion. However, other motorised commuters running late for work or for an appointment often results in aggressive or dangerous driving in the vicinity of stationary school buses. The anecdotal evidence is that accident-near-misses are all too common. The potential for tragedies could be minimised by giving the safety of school children a higher priority than the right of drivers to charge past stationary school buses in a dangerous manner.

By all accounts, the school bus flashing lights system that operates in the United States of America does so successfully and effectively. Australia would do well to emulate their system in relation to stopping traffic in the vicinity of a halted school bus with flashing lights. Uniform rules in all States and Territories would also be useful.

 

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