Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 12 June, 2001
Written Answers. - School Transport.
Mr. Higgins (Mayo) Mr. Higgins (Mayo)
85. Mr. Higgins (Mayo) asked the Minister for Education and Science if regulations exist which allow three pupils, up to the age of 19, to occupy seats designed for two persons on school buses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14576/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The loading on all school buses is determined by the relevant sections of the Road Traffic Regulations (Construction, equipment and Use of Vehicles) which are laid down by the Department of the Environment and Local Government. Under public service vehicle regulations, the licensed carrying capacity of all vehicles engaged in school transport is based on a ratio of three pupils for every two adult seats.
Safety on school transport is of paramount importance to my Department and Bus Éireann, which operates the scheme on behalf of my Department. Great care is taken to ensure that loading does not exceed the maximum legal carrying capacity of the different bus types in use. Bus Éireann complies with these regulations and all other relevant safety legislation.
 A review of safety issues relating to school transport, including the three-to-two seating ratio, is being carried out in my Department at present.
Dáil Éireann 537 Written Answers. School Transport.