New law should make school transport safer

COMPLETION OF specific training should become obligatory for security guards  accompanying children on school buses under a new law concerning collective transportation of children, claims the Associação para a Promoção da Segurança Infantil (APSI), the association for the promotion of child safety.

The new bill for the collective transportation of children is due for approval in Parliament this week, obliging all school buses to have seatbelts fitted in all seats. It also states that a security guard must be present at all times.

In comments made to Lusa news agency, the president of APSI, Helena Menezes, highlighted the fact that it’s essential security guards undergo specific training, namely with regard to protecting children and basic road safety rules.

These security guards will be required to wear a reflective jacket and to help children cross the road by using a lollypop type sign. However, “this will not necessarily be sufficient,” declared Menezes, offering the services of APSI to provide training for the guards. She also emphasised the fact that the association has already provided this type of support for Loures and Albufeira councils. APSI also provides training for drivers of school transport vehicles, already training around 300 people.

APSI is delighted with the news that the new bill is due to be finally approved by Parliament, but the president pointed out the fact that the document was due for approval several times in the past, with nothing materialising.