New bus code includes life bans
TWEED school bus drivers have welcomed new penalties - including life bans - for students who vandalise or misbehave on public transport.
The NSW Government is set to tighten up student-behaviour codes aimed at cutting down on disrespectful and anti-social behaviour on buses and trains.
The new code of conduct will give drivers the power to issue warnings to students and ban the worst offenders for life as well as force students to stand up for the frail, elderly and expectant mothers.
Terry Brims, manager and driver for Brims Coaches Pty Ltd which operates school buses in the Tweed Valley, welcomed the new code saying it offered harsher penalties and a quicker response to offences.
"The biggest thing is that where previous- ly there was a three-chain event before a kid could actually get suspended off the bus, now they get fewer warnings before action is taken and even for a minor offence, kids can get two weeks off (the bus)," he said.
"Generally kids are well behaved but every so often, for some reason, kids are kids, and a few things do happen ... all of a sudden you get one or two that are inclined to be a bit unruly and others tend to follow and it's on but it doesn't happen that often in our area," he said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport John Watkins said NSW taxpayers spent $500 million a year getting eligible students to and from school for free "so we expect them to respect that privilege."
? Luis Feliu