Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bus seatbelts after tragedy in Navan

Mondays bus tragedy in Navan was truly an accident waiting to happen. The school bus system in Ireland is terrible and the government has shown no real desire to improve the situation. Many children do not have the choice to take a school bus and those that do are given out dated busses that were not designed as school busses in the first place.

Now the National Parents Council is calling on parents to boycott the school bus service until seatbelts are fitted. This seems to be letting the government off lightly. They can now stall on the seatbelt issue with crash reports, safety reviews, tender processes, staggered roll out, with the knowledge that at any time they will be able to cancel a bus service and blame lack of interest.

The real shame of the situation is that while school children are packed onto unsafe busses the government ministers responsible for the sorry state of this service are driving around in cars renowned for their safety, Volvo and Mercedes

Here is the relevant passage from the dail debate
There are currently 50 State cars, including spares and presidential vehicles. It is necessary to maintain spares to cater for emergencies, such as accidents or breakdowns and servicing. The following makes and models, including spares, form part of the ministerial fleet: Mercedes E320; Mercedes E280; Mercedes E240; Saab 9-5 SE 2.0; Volvo S80 ; Volvo S70 T5; Opel Vectra 2.2 ; Lexus GS 300 Executive; and Rolls Royce Silver Wraith .

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