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BUSK was founded by Pat Harris on 16 February 1993 with the main purpose of bringing about changes in seat belt legislation so that school children travelling in coaches and minibuses would be provided with a lap and diagonal safety belt on their daily journey to and from school. BUSK also stood for Belt Up School Kids. In it's first two years BUSK received thousands of letters from parents and children all concerned with the daily school run. By year three BUSK was being contacted by parents and others from all over the world, in particular by a similar group in America who were battling to get safety belts onto the American yellow school bus.

 

The yellow American school bus

BUSK fought against UK bus giant First when they tried to introduce the American yellow bus in specific areas of the country. Pat Harris publicly challenged the company on many occasions, pointing out that the specification of the yellow American bus had barely changed in over 85 years and that it failed to go anywhere near the safety standards of coaches currently in use on school services that met with either British or European standards.

 

Safety poster competition

BUSK also ran a national safety poster competition through BBC's Blue Peter programme. More than 33,000 children entered the competition, desigining safety posters with a theme why they were not provided with safety belts on their journey to and from school each day and on school trips.

 

“well respected and trusted organisation”

Since its very small beginnings in 1993, BUSK has grown from a pressure group to a well respected and trusted organisation that still provides a completely free information and advice service for parents and schools. It has undertaken work on behalf of local authorities including best value reviews on transport procurement, has assisted with writing policy documents, produced safety handbooks, put into practice, emergency planning procedures and much more and is regularly included in UK-wide consultation processess.

 

School Transport Safety Conferences

Local authorities and private schools in particular have regularly attended BUSK conferences that provide practical advice and solutions to the many problems associated with making transport arrangements for large numbers of children on a daily basis.

 

Bus and coach fire evacuation training

It was BUSK that first introduced evacuation training of buses and coaches in 1994. Pat Harris argued that evacuation drills were carried out in offices and schools across the country and this did not stop people form using the buildings by making them believe the building could catch fire some day! She pointed out that it was more likely that this training would be needed for real in a vehicle than in a building. Today, many training companies include evacuation drills as part of their training package and is also part of many CPCs modules. As for BUSK, it has trained thousands of children and young people how to get out of a coach quickly and safely and importantly, what to do once they have left the vehicle.

 

BENCHMARK

In February 2013, BUSK launched BENCHMARK, the UK's first and only completely independent star rating for the minibus and coach industry. Schools, parents and the general public can now identify Benchmark members by the distinctive logo with green stars displayed on their fleets. Free Days Out for Schools Vouchers can be redeemed for coach hire through participating Benchmark members.

 

You Me Community is licensed to display the BUSK and Benchmark logo. Licence No: BSE10

 

For more information about BUSK please visit their website

 

 

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