Safety requirements

Find out the safety requirements for contractors and drivers.

All vehicles utilised under the ASTP must be of a standard that is acceptable to the NSW Department of Education, Roads and Maritime Services, students and parents and maintained to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and the public.

Child car seats

It is a legal requirement that children aged from four to seven years travel in a forward-facing Australian Standards Approved (AS/NZS1754) child car seat appropriate for the student's height and age. This is also a requirement for students accessing ASTP.

All car seats and boosters in ASTP vehicles must:

  • comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS1754
  • be less than 10 years old
  • be in good condition and checked regularly
  • be installed correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Parents are responsible for providing child car seats and boosters for use in ASTP vehicles.

Drivers are legally responsible for ensuring that child car seats and boosters are installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Wheelchairs

By law, all passengers travelling seated in their wheelchair must use an occupant restraint i.e. lap/sash seatbelt. The wheelchair must also be secured to the vehicle floor. The most common type of wheelchair tie-down is a four-point strap system that attaches to the specified tie-down points on the wheelchair. This system is separate to the passenger seatbelt.

The wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system (WTORS) should comply with AS/NZS 10542 and always be used as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system. Image: Regents of the University of Michigan

Wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system. Image: Regents of the University of Michigan

Hard trays and other equipment mounted on the wheelchair are to be removed for travel and secured safely in the vehicle. Consult a vehicle engineer or certifier that specialises in disability-specific modifications for further advice.

It is important to be aware that there are minimum clearance spaces required around the wheelchair, the user and WTORS in the vehicle. This reduces the potential for injuries during a crash. Details of the requirements can be found in AS/NZS 3696.19:2009.

Should you have concerns regarding a student's posture, fit or the condition of their wheelchair, please report this to the school and ASTP.

The Australian Standards relevant to the transportation of people seated in wheelchairs can be purchased from SAI Global:

  • AS/NZS 3696.19:2009 (Wheeled mobility devices for use as seats in vehicles)
  • AS/NZS ISO 16840.4:2014 (Seating Systems for use in motor vehicles)
  • AS/NZS 10542.1:2009 (Wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems – requirements and test methods for all systems)
  • AS/NZS 10542.2:2009 (Wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems – four-point, strap type tie down systems).

Bus warning systems

The Contract Agreement requires buses to be fitted with warning signs.

The Road Transport (General) Regulation 2013 and Technical Specification 142 has been amended which now requires warning signs and lights.

Clause 10 of the Contract Agreement requires compliance with all relevant legislation by all vehicles.

Contractors should carefully familiarise themselves with the regulations and technical specification and comply with all applicable requirements as they may change from time to time.

Buses that are not fitted with warning systems will not be permitted to operate services for ASTP and are subject to penalties under the Road Rules 2014.

More information on warning systems for buses is available from Roads and Maritime Services.

Safety vests

Safety vests are issued by the ASTP to contractors who have Assisted Travel Support Officers (ATSOs) travelling on school runs. Safety vests help improve the safety and identification of ATSOs when assisting students travelling to and from school.

Vests must be worn by authorised ATSOs every time a student is transported for the ASTP – not having a vest does not prevent the transportation of a student.

Vests should remain in the vehicle with the exception of ATSOs travelling in taxis where the ATSO can take the vest home.

When an ATSO is no longer employed with the ASTP, the ATSO must return the vest to the contractor. If an ATSO does not return the vest, the $20 cost of the vest will be deducted from the ATSO's final payment.

Contractors are responsible for issuing vests to ATSOs as needed by completing the safety vest order form (PDF 206.32KB).

To find out the last days to submit the order form, refer to the key dates.

Read more about ATSO safety vests.

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