School bus charity BUSK in unruly behaviour drive

School transport charity Belt Up School Kids (BUSK) is poised to launch a campaign to highlight the potentially fatal consequences of unruly behaviour on school buses.

The charity wants to raise awareness about the 2,500 kids who suffer injuries from bullying and fighting on school buses every year.

It hopes to grab the attention of 12 to 16-year-olds by warning them that they could be charged with manslaughter if someone dies as a result of their behaviour on buses.

The campaign was inspired by the case of 12-year-old Stuart Cunningham-Jones, who died when a bus overturned after a boy grabbed the steering wheel.

Kids’ broadcast media, education authorities and bus firms are being targeted with a video showing the effects of unruly behaviour on buses. ‘Instead of telling teenagers what not to do, we are telling them what the consequences are,’ said BUSK corporate director Pat Harris.

On the video, solicitors, doctors, firemen and drivers will talk about their experiences of school bus accidents caused by the irresponsible or aggressive behaviour of young passengers.

Local council road safety officers are being encouraged to take up the cause when they give talks at schools, and they are being sent booklets about the campaign.

The charity is using the campaign to kick off School Transport Safety Week, which takes place from 20-26 September. BUSK also plans to tackle the problem of teachers who drive mini-buses illegally. It will emphasise this problem to the National Union of Teachers at a conference during the week.

It is also launching a campaign to encourage drivers to overtake school buses at no more than 20mph.

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