12 Sep 2017
BACK TO SCHOOL. Safety in school transport.
Opening of the new school year 2017/18
Tens of thousands of children are returning to school this week.
The opening of the school course 2017/18 represents an important step toward normalcy for the all families.
If we take a comparative look at what it means for children from all over the Old Continent. Though Europe is a tapestry of different cultures, traditions and languages, school term times are remarkably similar, with just a few striking exceptions.
Italian and Danish children spend the most days in school at 200 per year while French youngsters are only in classrooms 162 days a year. This is split between weeks of five days in a majority of countries, a four day week is only a reality at primary level in France. For most pupils the school year starts in September, while some variations exist with children heading back in August, notably in Scotland and in some German regions. In Russia, the school term ends in late May. In Spain, the school calendar is 177 days.
This September, the children’s in Catalonia will start the new school year on the public and private schools around the country. Apart from the Christmas and New Year holiday (December 23 to January 7), they will spend almost 10 months in class until the summer holidays begin on June 22, 2018.
The school bus is the main mode of transport for children as they generally catch it at least ten times per week: Monday to Friday, morning and afternoon.
This is a logistical relief for many parents who, because of their work, cannot take or pick up their children themselves, but many of these journeys are done on conventional roads which pose a higher risk of accident, which can be a matter of concern.
The safety in our vehicles is one of our key commitments in Avant Grup. We were pioneers in the implementation of seat-belts in our coaches, even before they were mandatory. Nowadays we implement the most modern and efficient active and passive safety systems as well as our fleet of coaches control.
Coaches are among the safest passengers’ means of transportation in the world. The technological innovations, the drivers’ professionalization and training, have been decisive to this end. In Avant Grup we take our clients’ safety as a personal responsibility, and so we work hard on this matter on a daily basis.
ARE YOUR CHILDREN TRAVELING IN THE SAFEST POSSIBLE CONDITIONS?
Almost certainly the answer to this unsettling question is yes, because Royal Decree 443/2001 of 27 April 2001 sets out a series of standards to guarantee the safe transportation of schoolchildren:
Vehicles must be less than 16 years old at the beginning of the school year during which they will be providing a service.
Every bus must have the appropriate School Bus signage at both the front and back of the vehicle.
The bus’s documentation must show that it has passed an annual vehicle inspection in its first five years. If the vehicle is older, it must be inspected every six months. It must also have mandatory insurance plus additional insurance to cover civil liability for damages and special authorization to operate as a school bus.
The floor of the vehicle must be non-slip and the edges of steps must be identified with a bright color so they can be seen easily.
The doors must make it easy to get in and out of the bus and there must be handrails for further assistance.
SINCE 2007, SEAT BELTS HAVE BEEN MANDATORY ON ALL BUSES.
Studies have shown that nine out of every ten injuries to children, whether serious or fatal, could have been avoided if a seat belt had been used.
For this reason, an EU Directive has ruled that all new buses after 2007 must be fitted with seat belts.
SAFETY ALSO COMES FROM EDUCATION
Parents, teachers and schools can also do their bit to improve safety on school bus trips.
Let’s go over a few essential behavioral guidelines that need to be instilled in children’s minds.
Getting on and off the bus. These are crucial moments and if the right action is not taken in these situations it can seriously endanger children’s safety. It is essential to get to the bus stop in plenty of time; don’t wait for your child on the other side of the road, and don’t double park.
Inside the bus. The ideal situation is for every child to remain in their seat and respect the space of other passengers. This avoids many unexpected situations that might otherwise have unfortunate outcomes.
EVENTS THAT HIGHLIGHT IN THE NEXT DAYS
Mercat Musica Viva de Vic
13/09/2017 – 17/09/2017
The Live Music Market of Vic starts next September 13th.
If you love music and want to explore the coolest local sounds, you should head to the central Catalan town of Vic for its annual autumnal festival.
The ‘Market of Live Music’ celebrates its 29th edition this year, and if the line-up is anything like the 2016 edition, it’ll be well worth the trip. Over 50 acts scheduled. The Market was set up for industry pros to seek out new stars from Catalonia and Spain, so why not follow their example for an unforgettable four days of live music.
The city of Vic has brought together representatives of all areas of music from around the world to see new developments, attend forums, exchange their knowledge and buy and sell music.
To access the concert program click this link
SITGES.- Festival Internacional de Cine Fantástico
05/10/2017 – 15/10/2017
The International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is the first fantastic film festival in the world and has become consolidated as the cultural manifestation with more media impact in Catalonia.
The Festival has a wide range of activities and events to focus on for ten days.
Born in 1968 as the 1st International Week of Fantasy and Horror Movies, today the Festival is an essential rendezvous for movie lovers and audiences eager to come into contact with new tendencies and technologies applied to film and the audiovisual world.
The 50th edition of Sitges – Fantàstic International Film Festival of Catalonia will open its doors on 5 October and close the edition on the 15th. It has become the best showcase for fantastic cinema. It brings together the latest novelties of the genre and other great jewels of the independent cinema scene.