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Last Updated: Monday, 20 September, 2004, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Film warns children on bus safety
Stuart Cunningham-Jones
Stuart Cunningham-Jones was sitting on the upper deck of the bus
A safety video aimed at children who travel on school buses, produced in memory of Stuart Cunningham-Jones, has been officially launched.

The 12-year-old died when the double-decker he was on veered off a road and hit a tree in the Vale of Glamorgan on 3 December 2002.

The video addressed the dangers of distracting drivers.

Stuart's inquest found that unruly behaviour contributed to the bus driver losing control.

The video has been produced in conjunction with School Transport Safety Week,

BUSK, Belt-up School Kids, in collaboration with Stuart's Campaign and Principality Building Society, will use it to target 12 to 16-year-olds.

Some young people are either unaware of the dangers they place others in, or, in some cases, just don't care
Pat Harris, BUSK

Nearly 100 people, including Stuart's parents, health minister Jane Hutt, bus manufacturers and bus companies, attended the launch at the Welsh assembly in Cardiff Bay.

BUSK's corporate director, Pat Harris said: "Some young people are either unaware of the dangers they place others in, or, in some cases, just don't care.

"It is unacceptable to let this situation continue.

"I believe we must not only create an atmosphere where pupils are given the confidence to speak out if they are worried on the school bus journey, but we must also educate all pupils about the risks and how those risks can be reduced."

Last year, the Principality Building Society met BUSK and agreed to fund the project that has led to the production of the safety video.

Principality Building Society chief executive Peter Griffiths said: "As a mutual organisation, we are concerned about the things that affect people in their local communities.

"Funding this video is a practical step we could take with a positive outcome - bringing about some serious changes to safety on school buses."

Bus crash
More than 30 children were injured in the crash near Ystradowen

In the making of this video, BUSK said the message from discussions with pupils was that they cared about their safety.

Pupils from Glan Taf Welsh School, Cardiff, St Josephs High School, Newport and Caerleon Comprehensive School, Caerleon, participated in the video.

In July, tough measures to protect children travelling to and from school on buses were unveiled.

Vale of Glamorgan Council plans to use anti-social behaviour and banning orders to protect pupils.

But they will apply only to buses specially contracted on school runs by the council.

It is not able to impose its regulations on service buses, which also take fare-paying passengers, and which was the type of bus involved in Stuart's fatal journey.

The policy will involve a trial with CCTV on school buses on six routes.


SEE ALSO:
Resign call over bus safety
22 Apr 04  |  Wales
Bus safety drive after tragedy
28 Jul 04  |  Wales


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