Prime Minister challenged to implement seatbelts on Buses

Prime Minister challenged to implement seatbelts on Buses

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was challenged by a public announcement by dogandlemon Editor and outspoken road safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is calling for seatbelts to be installed on buses.

“Just a few weeks ago, a teenage girl was thrown against the windscreen of a bus she was travelling in. Today [March 11], two out of eight children were injured when a school bus crashed. Hannah Teresa Francis died after a bus overturned on Mt Ruapehu on July 28, 2018. Lastly, five tourists died in a single bus accident in 2019,” said Mr Clive Matthew-Wilson.

“There’s a strong chance these deaths and injuries would not have occurred in Germany, because all buses must have seatbelts and all occupants must wear them.”

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“It’s really easy to prevent these deaths and injuries in New Zealand, too: make seatbelts compulsory on all buses that use highways. Yet the government appears to be asleep at the wheel over this issue.”

The Prime Minister was given a chance by the road safety campaigner to watch a graphic crash test that gives a simulation of a bus crash.

Mr Clive Matthew-Wilson hopes it could change her perspective on the notion of bus-related crashes in New Zealand.

“I challenge the prime minister to watch this graphic crash test which simulates a bus rolling over. The prime minister is a mother: would she feel comfortable with her own child travelling at highway speeds without the protection of a seatbelt?,” said Mr Clive Matthew-Wilson.

“New Zealand’s roads are particularly dangerous for buses because they’re often narrow and winding; a perfect setup for a rollover accident.”

The Government needs to decide whether they want to also ban the import of buses without Electronic Stability Control, which prevents a vehicle from losing control in an emergency.

On vehicles, ESC is compulsory but is optional for imported buses.

A 2012 study by the American government, concluded that [If installed on heavy vehicles], we believe that ESC systems could prevent 40–56% of rollover crashes and 14% of loss-of-control crashes,” said Mr Clive Matthew-Wilson.

“Stability Control has been compulsory on cars since 2015, yet new buses are still being sold without it. Why is this allowed?”

Image: WikiComms [GoWellington Bus]/Gettyimages [Jacinda Ardern]

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