School buses must comply with a set of safety requirements in order to ferry school children.
Three-Point Retractable Seat Belts
All new small buses registered on or after 1 April 2009 must have forward-facing seats that have retractable three-point seat belts.
All existing small buses that transport school children, including those attending international schools, special schools, kindergartens and childcare centres, must install forward-facing seats and retractable three-point seat belts by 31 December 2011.
All other existing small buses must have seat belts by 31 December 2013.
I’m a small bus owner, how do I install seat belts on my bus?
You are advised to approach the LTA-approved workshops to install the seat belts. These workshops have the necessary equipment and qualified personnel, and will use seats and seat belts that meet safety standards. The workshops will work with a professional engineer to strengthen the floorboards, if necessary, and to design seat anchorages to make the seatbelts more effective. After the job is done, the workshops will arrange for LTA's authorised vehicle inspection centres to inspect the works to ensure that the buses meet the safety standards.
Small bus owners are advised not to retrofit their buses at workshops that are not appointed by the LTA. Such workshops may use seats and seat belts that have not been pre-approved by the LTA. If you use these workshops, you risk failing the inspection at LTA's authorised inspection centres.
See List of LTA-appointed Workshops
See Images of Approved Seats
Will LTA help me financially to install seat belts in my small bus?
A baseline financial package of S$4,000/ S$3,000 will be given to existing small bus owners to retrofit their buses with seat belts or to replace their bus with a new one.
Small school buses may also apply for additional financial assistance (ranging from S$1,000 to S$3,000) after ferrying school children for a continuous period of 12 months from the date of retrofitting/ replacement. This is to help the owners financially as they now carry fewer passengers after the retrofitting.
If the bus is used to ferry young children who are required to use booster seats, the bus owner may also apply for the Booster Seats Assistance of S$1,000 (subject to the relevant criteria).
Read more about Financial Assistance Package.
Application Form for Basic Assistance (only applicable to replacement buses)
Application Form for Additional Assistance for Small Bus Ferrying School Children
Application Form for Additional Assistance for Booster Seats
Three children of up to 12 years old may occupy a double-seater bench seat meant for two adults, while one child may occupy a single seat. However, this seating arrangement does not apply to buses that are fitted with seat belts.
Increased Visibility for School Buses
A reflective "Children Crossing" sign with red blinking LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) must be placed at the rear of the bus. The LED lights will be activated when the entrance or exit door is opened. (Owners can de-activate LED lights when they are not carrying school children).
Automatic Activation of Hazard Warning Lights
Hazard warning lights must be automatically activated when the entrance or exit door is opened.
Bus attendants must be present on school buses used to carry children to childcare centres or kindergartens, as well as for buses that are authorised to carry more than 30 children. Bus attendants must be a Singapore citizen, at least 16 years old, and hold a Bus Attendant’s Vocational Licence.
Where do I install safety features?
You may approach the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners Association (SSPHBOA), or the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA), to have safety devices installed.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
First-time offenders are liable, upon conviction, to a fine of up to S$1,000, or a jail term of up to three months. Repeat offenders are liable, upon conviction, to a fine of up to S$2,000, or a jail term of up to six months.