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Child safety at unacceptable risk to and from schools or do governments regard pupils as disposable?

Hain, L


ACRS conference 2007

During the seven years up to 1998, 27 Australian school pupils died in separate accidents at school bus stops. I have their names. On 27 August 1998 I was included in a Memorial Day of Mourning as on national television. Since then New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and New Zealand adopted reduced speed limits of 40 km/h or less when passing in both directions as school buses load or unload pupils while flashing their distinctive wig wag warning lights with prominent “School Bus” and “40kph” or lower speed signs. This year pupils have died at Bus Stops in Ipswich, Queensland and recently at Sale, Victoria, in States that still allow passing traffic at full road speed, such as at 100kph at Sale on 31st May 2007. Recently another pupil in Victoria lost a leg under a Bus in a fog.

I now strongly request School Buses copy some Melbourne Trams at Stops, by being also required to have prominent flashing lights down both sides of School Buses at and near Bus Stops. Rural pupils go to and from their School Buses in the dark or fogs during winter. We need prominent lighting on all sides of moving and stationary buses as well as appropriate fog lights. Likewise pupils in traffic, especially in poor light, should again be advised to wear bright clothing, or even also luminescent sashes similar to bike riders.