Tragedy may see action on school bus seatbelts

Síle De Valera, a junior minister at the Irish Department of Education, has said the Government aims to phase in school buses fitted with seatbelts.The move follows the horrific crash in Meath, which left five schoolgirls dead and scores injured.

The estimated cost of the move is put at 100 million euros while in Northern Ireland, where children also travel on buses without seatbelts, the cost was put at 50 million sterling by a Environment Committee report in 2002.

Meanwhile, UK Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman said the British Government would learn the lessons from the worst school vehicle crash in Irish history.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has already called for seatbelts to be fitted to all school buses in the UK.

Will the prohibitive cost of the move lead to its delayed implemenation in both jurisdictions and where will Northern Ireland source the money to upgrade its fleet when deep cuts are already being imposed on the education boards?