Buses carrying children must have seat belts ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Seat belt sign on bus window.
Seat belt sign on bus window. Source: ERR

The Economic Committee of the Riigikogu decided on Thursday the use of seat belts in children's excursion buses should be made mandatory by law.

In early October, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise drew the attention of the Economic Affairs Committee to the lack of safety belts in school buses and buses for children's excursions, as well as the lack of seats on non-urban buses.

The commission agreed that a change to the traffic law would be introduced to make seat belts compulsory for school buses.

However, action can be taken in the name of security before the law is amended.

"The first change is still going to come from the customer and the school that decides to order the bus - to order a bus which has seat belts," Villem Tori, director of the Association of Automobile Companies, explained.

He added that children should be reminded to fasten their seat belts. Safety belts will also be required on all school buses.

"Particular attention was given to the fact that all new contracts that local governments are about to enter into have to be legally required to have a seat belt in the new contract," said Economic Committee Chairman Sven Sester.

Evelin Lopman, head of the business environment department at the Chancellor's Office, said there are currently no seat belts on school buses in eight municipalities.

However, some of the issues remained unresolved on Thursday.

"Another big problem is that when there are seat belts on the bus, sometimes there are just so many passengers that not everyone can sit down and then the existing seat belt don't help if a child is standing. In fact, many lines just need more buses," said Lopman.

But increasing the number of buses requires additional money.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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