Selected school bus routes in the Hunter will be equipped with seatbelts, as the State Government extends the $237 million program to the region.

100 school buses across Cessnock, Singleton, Maitland, and Port Stephens are being fitted out, after studies of roads with higher-risk ratings.

Regional Roads Minister Sam Farraway says it’s important to keep kids safe on their way to and from school.

“This program has already ensured a safer trip to and from school for more than 200,000 students who often travel long distances on dirt roads,” he said. 

“This will deliver improved safety for school buses travelling long distances on unsealed roads and on roads outside urban areas with a speed limit of 80km/h and above.”

“And of course, it will give parents more comfort knowing their kids are better protected when  travelling to school.”

35 buses in the Upper Hunter were retrofitted earlier this year, in addition to 37 brand new buses.