Hiring a Bus - Make sure it is safe!

Hiring a Bus for the Transport of Children – Make sure it is safe for the Road​

The Road Safety Authority is engaged in an awareness campaign to promote the safety of buses used for the transport of children to and from school and school related activities as well as excursions, tours and sports activities etc. 

We wish to raise awareness amongst schools, parents, voluntary groups, youth clubs and sports organisations as to how you can make sure bus providers are providing safe buses to transport children.

All bus operators must ensure buses are roadworthy.  They must:

The above legal obligations are in place to ensure buses on our roads are safe at all times. 

When engaging bus providers please be vigilant and seek assurances from the provider that they comply with all relevant legal obligations. 

To assist with this RSA have developed two compliance checklists for both primary level (PDF)  ​and secondary level students/schools. We strongly recommend that you ask the bus provider to complete these checklists to confirm to you that their bus meets all the safety requirements prior to hiring a bus for the transport of children. 

Safety Belts on Buses involved in the organised transport of children.  

Since 31st October 2011 all buses involved in the organised transport of children are required to be fitted with the appropriate and fit for purpose safety belts or restraint systems for the number of children being transported. 

Organisations and individuals who hire or contract bus services for transporting children should ensure that the vehicle is fitted with safety belts. 

Organised transport involves taking a group of three or more children on a dedicated trip.  This includes the transport of children:

  • ​to or from school 

  • on school trips

  • to sporting events

  • on all other organised outings

Under Statutory Instrument Number 367 of 2011​ it is illegal for a bus owner / driver to transport children on an organised trip if their vehicle’s are not fitted with fit for purpose safety belts or restraint systems or if there isn’t the appropriate number of safety belts or restraint systems for the number of children being transported.

Have concerns about the condition of a Bus in use for the transport of children? 

If you have any concerns about the roadworthiness condition of a commercial vehicle for e.g. School Bus, Truck, Trailer or indeed any other type of commercial vehicle you can report your concerns in confidence to the RSA. Visit our complaints page​ to find out more.

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