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Rural Women NZ calls for extra mirrors on school buses

Media release
For immediate release
10 April 2014

Rural Women NZ calls for extra mirrors to be fitted to school buses to avoid blind spots

Rural Women NZ urges bus companies to follow the lead of Ritchies Transport, which installed extra mirrors on its buses following the 2012 death of a five year old West Coast boy after he was dropped off a school bus operated by the company.

An inquest into the death by Christchurch coroner Richard McElrea this week was told that the driver was unable to see down the full length of the left-hand side of the bus at the time of the accident. Since then extra mirrors have been retro-fitted to the company’s fleet to improve visibility for its drivers.

Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan, says, “Such blind spots are likely to be a problem with many school buses, and we urge other companies to install extramirrors where necessary to ensure there is good visibility down the full length of the bus.”

Children are unpredictable, and as in this case, may step out on to the road.

“The cost of retrofitting mirrors is a small price to pay to keep children safer around school buses and hopefully avoid a similar tragedy.”

Rural Women NZ has long campaigned for better safety around school buses, with a strong focus on raising awareness of the 20kmh speed limit in both directions when passing a bus that has stopped for children to get on or off.

Ends

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