On road tests of a speed limit of 30 km/h when passing a bus at standstill with a variable sign activated showing 30
Submission Date: 2012
In Sweden, some 400,000 children go by school bus every day, either by specially purchased buses or by public transport. Crash statistics show that the level of safety in the school bus system is generally high. The most risky situation is when the child is outside the bus waiting for, boarding or alighting the bus. As an effort to improve children’s safety on their way to or from school the Swedish Government initiated an evaluation of a law requiring drivers of all vehicles to limit their speed to 30 km/h when passing a bus, standing still at a bus stop and marked with a 30 sign. The law should apply to vehicles on roads with a speed limit of 70 km/h or lower, approaching in any direction of the bus. The evaluation was a full scale test in one municipality in northern part of Sweden. All public buses and purchased buses (~130 buses) in the municipality were equipped with flashing 30 signs as a reminder of the rule. The law was expected to reduce the risks for bus travellers, in particular children, to be struck by an oncoming vehicle when alighting or boarding the bus. The results showed that many motorists drove more slowly than before the rule was stipulated– even though not all of them reduced their speed right down to 30 km/h. The results also underline the need for a more holistic approach including a door to door perspective in order to guarantee the safety of children.