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School Bus Safety in Australia: Technical Report

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Publication no: AP-186A-01 Pages: 123
Published: 01 January 2001

Following community concern over school bus incidents resulting in the death of or serious injury to school aged children, the Australian Transport Council (ATC) requested Austroads to: review current practice and research in relation to school bus safety; and to identify new or proven safety measures that may be used as part of a National approach to school bus safety. Based on available data, the number of children killed or seriously injured nationally during bus travel has steadily fallen from an estimated 14 fatalities and 190 hospitalisations in 1990, to an estimated 4 fatalities and 100 hospitalisations in 1998. Notwithstanding the reductions achieved, across the country about 9 children are seriously injured each month. To ensure that school bus safety is recognised as a road safety priority nationally, this report proposes a draft National School Bus Safety Action Plan to complement the National Road Safety Strategy 2000 currently being drafted. The School Bus Safety Action Plan is intended as a guide to States and Territories. It provides a set of short to long term initiatives expected to improve school bus safety. The manner and degree to which each measure is applied by each jurisdiction will depend on programs currently delivered and the level of applicability within each State and Territory. Components of the School Bus Safety Action Plan comprise a range of current and new "best practice" initiatives that focus on: improving the behaviours of children, parents, teachers, child carers, bus drivers and operators, and the general community; improvements to school buses and their design; improvements to the road and its environment. To refine and facilitate the implementation of the School Bus Safety Action Plan, and to monitor the effectiveness of the program and identify future crash trends, the review also recommended the establishment of a School Bus Safety Advisory Group.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Crash Analysis
  • 3. Accident Data Collection Procedures
  • 4. School Bus Safety Issues Across Australia and Overseas
  • 5. Key Stakeholder and Community Group Concerns
  • 6. Current Programs and Initiatives Across Australia
  • 7. Development of a School Bus Safety Action Plan
  • 8. Discussion and Recommendations
  • 9. References
  • Appendix A - Crash Analysis: Statistical Tables
  • Appendix B - Accident Data Collection Practices: Additional Information
  • Appendix C - Nationwide Workshops and Interviews
  • Appendix D - National Workshop

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