A larger bus has been assigned to a Queenstown school route
after the bus operator got a ticket yesterday for breaching
its maximum load.
Constable Brian Fitzgerald, of Queenstown, said a motorist
contacted police about 8.30am yesterday, concerned at the
number of pupils on the bus, believed to have been travelling
from Frankton to Queenstown.
Const Fitzgerald said the bus was transporting primary school
children to St Joseph's and Queenstown Primary schools.
Inquiries indicated the bus had
62 pupils on board at most. The bus had a loading certificate
for 57 people, Const Fitzgerald said.
''An infringement notice was issued in relation to that
offence. However, the [operator], having been spoken to in
person ... has given an assurance this is the last time it
Given the number of children on the bus, it was likely some
would have been standing in the aisle, Const Fitzgerald said.
However, that was not illegal.
The company got an infringement notice, carrying with it a
Ministry of Education service delivery group manager Jerome
Sheppard said the bus service was a ministry-contracted one.
The ministry was notified of the incident yesterday morning.
''We believe there is enough space on contracted buses and
public transport for all eligible students in the area to get
to and from school,'' Mr Sheppard said.
''The bus company involved in this incident has advised that
all loads have been reviewed and a larger bus has been
assigned to the route in question.
''We will monitor the situation to ensure student safety is
Companies operating ministry-contracted buses were not
allowed to exceed loading limits and it would address the
incident directly with the bus company, Mr Sheppard said.