Car travel

Parents and carers are responsible for a student's travel to and from school. Schools take over responsibility and duty of care for the student once they enter the school premises.

What is taught at school about being a safe passenger?

Schools want their students and community to be safe. Passenger safety is taught as part of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) K-10 syllabus.

Key road safety messages for primary aged students have been developed by Transport for NSW to ensure consistent messages for children across NSW.

Safe car travel advice for parents and carers

Parents and carers can assist by reinforcing safe travel in vehicles by ensuring their child:

  • is correctly buckled up with a seatbelt or child car seat
  • always get in and out of the car through the 'safety door'. This is the rear door on the footpath side of the car.
  • uses a booster seat, if aged between four and seven years old or up to the height of 145cm.
  • is never left alone in the car.

Download information sheet Drive and safe car travel (PDF 962.37KB)

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Refer to the department's parent and carer information about safe travel - Travelling safely to and from school by car, Benefits of not using a car to travel to and from school.

Safe use of cars by students, staff and parents

Students who are licensed drivers may drive to and from school. This is the decision of the student, their parents or carers and the owner of the vehicle.

More information can be found in Parking on school grounds.

The Department's Excursions Policy Implementation Procedures (Section 9) specifies a hired bus or coach, public transport or the school's own bus as the preferred methods of transporting students for school activities.

The Department provides answers to questions about child restraints in motor vehicles outlined in Legal Services Duty of care and behaviour management (Staff only).

Transporting students in a parent or carers', or other students' vehicle, should only occur when where there is no other option.

Transport to and from the activity is subject to the conditions outlined in Legal Issues Bulletin No. 8 (staff only) page 4.

Allowing students to use private vehicles to transport themselves and/or other students to and from school activities is a privilege granted by the principal and must be strictly supervised by the school. The principal can revoke this privilege at any time. If the privilege is abused, the principal must withdraw approval immediately.

Permission notes would outline the driver and the passengers involved.

Staff may transport students in a private vehicle if:

  • there's an emergency, or
  • no other option is available to transport the student(s) to a particular department activity.

Transport to and from the activity is subject to the conditions outlined in Legal Issues Bulletin No. 8 (page 4 - staff only)

Staff transporting students by private vehicle should always adopt relevant common-sense strategies to minimise the risk of child protection issues being raised. These include:

  • another adult being present
  • other students being present
  • having students sit in the rear of the vehicle
  • advising the principal of the travel arrangements.
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