MSP pays tribute to campaigner after seatbelts Bill passed

Stewart Stevenson MSP
Stewart Stevenson MSP

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has paid tribute to a constituent who worked tirelessly to improve school bus safety.

It comes after the Scottish Parliament passed the final stage of the Seatbelts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill at Holyrood.

The Bill had been brought forward by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin.

For years, Gardenstown resident Ron Beaty worked hard to campaign on school bus safety after his granddaughter was knocked over by a vehicle after getting off a school bus.

Mr Beaty, who sadly passed away before the Bill reached its final stage yesterday, had been a staunch advocate of safety on school transport following the incident.

He worked closely alongside Mr Stevenson on the issue for many years.

Mr Stevenson said he was a “ferocious champion of improving safety” in the school transport system.

The Bill will make it compulsory for all dedicated school transport to be fitted with seatbelts.

Councils across Scotland provide dedicated school transport to pupils who live over certain distances from school in line with their statutory responsibilities and this is often in the form of buses or coaches.

There are currently already 24 local authorities in Scotland which stipulate seat belts must be worn including Aberdeenshire Council.

The completion of Stage three of the Bill intends to make this good practice universal as a matter of law.

It will afford more pupils the well-established safety benefit which seat belts can bring in the event of a road accident.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “I am delighted the Bill to ensure seatbelts are on all dedicated home to school transport has been passed.

“I would like to pay tribute to Ron. While he wasn’t here to witness it, I have no doubt that his efforts for many years made an invaluable contribution.

“Ron is an example to us all and I am sure his family are very proud.

“I would also like to commend my colleague Gillian Martin MSP and the civil servants who worked very hard over the past 18 months on this Bill.”