Investigation of the protection of children in minibuses and coaches

2007-01-19T12:55:01Z (GMT) by Rachel Grant Ruth Welsh Alan Kirk
The draft European Directive on the use of seatbelts requires passengers of minibuses and coaches to use the safety systems (seatbelts) provided. As the wording stands, this requirement applies to children over 3 years, but the need for additional protection is not clear. This need has long been recognised in cars where the requirements for protection vary according to the size of child and the characteristics of both the vehicle and the crash. However, this knowledge base does not adequately address what means of protection children need in minibuses, buses and coaches. Research has been commissioned by the UK Department for Transport to determine the requirements for seatbelts and restraint systems in minibuses and coaches in relation to children. Information is being gathered about exposure, accidents, operational issues of use, practicality and liability and the fit of existing seatbelt systems for different age groups of children and particularly those under 3 years.