Recommendations in a new school bus safety report should begin to pull NSW into line with the rest of the country, said a committee member.
President of the Belt Up for Safety Action Group (BUSAG) Glenda Staniford is a member of the School Bus Safety Community Advisory Committee.
The committee this week handed down its recommendations into school bus safety in rural and regional areas. Among the main recommendations were prohibiting standing passengers on buses travelling on unsealed roads or those in non-urban areas with a speed limit of 80km/h or more, and seatbelts to be phased into all buses over the next 10 years.
The committee was set up by the government last year and Ms Staniford was hopeful it would at least act on the key recommendations.
"I think these recommendations are reasonable and we've given the government a clear set of guidelines about how it can be done," she said.
"We've worked through all the hard stuff - all they have to do is adopt it. It's implementing well-overdue safety recommendations.
"For rural and regional travel this is a big step forward if they adopt them, considering other states and territories in Australia have been putting seatbelts on since 2005.
"We're one of the last - there's only Victoria and us not putting them on. And Victoria banned standing back in 1997, so we're really behind."
The areas considered by the report do not include Wollongong and Shellharbour but "non-urban" areas further south.
"Even though we as the bus action group would like to see seatbelts rolled out further, this is a really good first step considering we have waited so long for any step," Ms Staniford said.
She said that adding seatbelts would certainly save lives, as evidenced by the statistics since coaches were required to install them in 1995.
"We haven't had one passenger that was wearing a seatbelt killed or maimed since 1995," she said.
"This is the sort of record that we can be looking for with school buses."
The NSW government will now consider the recommendations of the report.