14 October, 2015 - Bus Eireann School Transport Safety Campaign welcomed by Parent and Teacher Associations and Road Safety Authority

Buster and the Belt Ups 1Bus Éireann’s new ‘Buster and the Belt-Ups’ school transport safety campaign –which was launched by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English – has been widely welcomed by parents associations, teachers and the RSA.

‘Buster and the Belt-Ups’ are animated characters who represent this new educational campaign, which involves a new safety video that will be distributed to national schools this month and is available on You Tube and www.buseireann.ie.  Schools will also receive of packs that include posters, seat belt safety certificates, activity sheets and stickers. These promotional materials will be distributed in Irish to Gael Scoileanna.

All parents of primary school children – who are carried via the School Transport Scheme – have also received letters regarding the new initiative which encourages them to watch the safety video with their kids, and embrace the reward chart of Belt-Up stickers which are earned every time their child/ren wear a safety belt on school transport.

The new campaign – which aims to engage primary school students with the Belt-Up characters – is endorsed by the Road Safety Authority, the INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation), the National Parents Council (NPC), and the National Parents Council Post Primary  (NPCPP).

All Bus Éireann school buses are fitted with seat belts, but it is vital to continue to encourage students to wear these at all times.  As there are over 44 million journeys made by 112,500 school pupils under the School Transport Scheme annually, safety remains the absolute priority for the company.

Buster and the Belt Ups 3National Parents Council (NPC) chief executive Áine Lynch said it was vital that children receive consistent messaging from the adults that matter to them in their lives. “The Buster and the Belt Up’s initiative that is being rolled out in schools will give an important reinforcement of the messages that parents provide to their children, about wearing seat belts. Together schools and parents will make wearing seatbelts a normal part of travelling for children, and will establish lifelong safety routines.”

National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) spokesman Don Myers said"NPCPP are fully supportive of Bus Éireann's new schools Seat Belt Initiative that has been launched. As parents we are always conscious of the safety of our children and are delighted that Bus Éireann are prioritising this, by leading and highlighting the use of seat belts during school transport."

Bus Éireann operate the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DoES). Every school day some 112,500 schoolchildren are transported on network using over 3,700 vehicles on 6,000 routes – serving 3,000 schools across the country. This includes almost over 9,000 students with special educational needs, who are generally provided with services on a door-to-door basis.

Further information on the new campaign please is available here www.buseireann.ie/schoolsafety