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Road Users

Seatbelts for school buses

Use of seatbelts in school buses.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

Vehicles used for the organised *transport of children must be fitted with the appropriate seat belts for the number of children being transported. Bus operators are required to present certification at their vehicle’s roadworthiness test showing its safety belt or restraint systems were installed to an acceptable standard.  

*This involves taking a group of three or more children on a dedicated trip, including to or from school, school outings, sporting events and all other organised trips. 

No. Legally they are not required to supply booster seats. If a parent wishes and if the bus company agrees, parents can provide booster seats or cushions for their child to use on the bus, but this is the parent’s responsibility to or from school, school outings, sporting events and all other organised trips.

Yes, provided it has the appropriate seat belt.

No. However, legally the bus driver must announce that seat belts must be always worn when the vehicle is in motion either through an announcement or signage. They can also legally refuse to carry a passenger who does not wear a seat belt.

All passengers over the age of 14 can be prosecuted if found not to be wearing a seat belt on a bus. An Garda Síochána is responsible for enforcing this law.

Type of Bus

Yes / No

Bus involved in the organised transport* of children

 

Yes

Stand up, omnibus or city bus

No. Unless used for the organised transport* of children

Bus registered from 20 October 2007

Yes

Bus registered before 20 October 2007

No. Unless used for the organised transport* of children

*This involves taking a group of three or more children on a dedicated trip, including to or from school, school outings, sporting events and all other organised trips. 

Under S.I. No. 348 of 2013 of Road Safety Authority Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Regulations 2013, Sections 5 to 9 outline the inspection requirements for owners or users of commercial vehicles. For further information see our webpages on Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs

You will need to contact the original manufacturer of the vehicle regarding additional application of seat belts.

There is no law against the use of lap belts even with the organised transport of children, but where fitted there must be adequate padding on any panel likely to strike the occupant in the case of an accident. We recommend the use of three-point belts except for side facing seats.

It is not a requirement to install seat belts on an omnibus or city bus in accordance with S.I. No. 367 of 2011 and Directive 2001/85/ec as they are of a specific design, travel on a set route and adhere to restricted speed limits at all times.