Seatbelt bill is extended

Ms Martin spoke at the second stage of the debate into the Seatbelts for School Transport (Scotland) Bill.
Ms Martin spoke at the second stage of the debate into the Seatbelts for School Transport (Scotland) Bill.

A bill by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin to ensure seatbelts are on all school transport Gillian Martin has passed its second stage at Holyrood.

It has been extended to cover all trips taken by pupils both in the UK and abroad.

Ms Martin spoke at the second stage of the debate into the Seatbelts for School Transport (Scotland) Bill.

The proposal was announced last September before it formerly began making its way through Parliament in March.

Politicians at Holyrood are continuing to hear evidence on the bill, which would require all local authorities to put seatbelts on all home-to-school transport.

But the amendment brought forward by the SNP politician means seatbelts must be ensured on all school trips taken by pupils not just locally, but if they are travelling farther afield within the UK or elsewhere.

The bill has already had the backing of David Campbell, a director at North-east bus firm Whytes.

There are currently a number of local authorities which have the measures in place but this decision makes it a legal requirement.

Ms Martin said: “Many people are not even aware seatbelts on school buses have not previously been a legal requirement.

“We felt it was important to add this amendment to ensure children are also protected when they go away on a school trip which is why we have added it to this Bill.”