6 Sep 2011

Details needed before seat belt issue considered - Minister

12:49 pm on 6 September 2011

Transport Minister Steven Joyce is waiting to hear more about the cause of Monday's collision between a school bus and logging truck before considering whether seatbelts should be required on buses.

Twelve children and the driver of the truck remained in hospital on Tuesday following the crash on Reid Road near Ruatoki, in eastern Bay of Plenty.

One of the children, an eight-year-old girl, is in a critical condition at Starship Hospital.

Mr Joyce said not enough details were yet known about the accident to determine whether compulsory seat belts in buses would have helped or hindered the situation.

He said a suggestion to ban heavy vehicles such as log trucks from the roads between 3pm and 4pm probably wouldn't work either.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says he expects the crash will spark a renewed debate on seatbelts in buses, but says he wouldn't like to make a decision until the crash has been investigated.

Mr Goff says the accident should be carefully reviewed to see what lessons can be learned to improve children's safety.