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Child safety on public transport (trains, buses)

Keep your child safe when using public transport, such as buses and trains. Teach them about the risks.

Safety on trains and near railway tracks


Never go onto railway tracks for any reason.

On a railway platform you should:

  • hold children's hands
  • stay away from the edge, behind the safety lines
  • wait for the train or tram to stop before crossing the safety lines towards it
  • keep buggies behind the safety lines with the brakes on
  • inform train or station staff if you drop something on the track - they'll help you safely get it

Mind the gap when getting on and off the train

Always hold young children's hands. Be very careful about the gap between the train and the platform edge. There have been cases where children have slipped between and fallen onto the tracks. This could be life-threatening.

On the train

Always hold your child's hand when walking through a train or tram carriage. Put your child in their seat. Don't let them run in the carriages.

Consider bringing some activities, such as a book or a game, to keep them occupied.

Railway tracks and level crossings

People are killed every year on railway tracks. Make sure children understand that they should never go on railway tracks for any reason .

They should never cross level crossings alone and should be taught to follow the Rail Cross Code.

If you need to walk across a level crossing you should:

  • always hold children's hands
  • take extra care with buggies or prams
  • read any signs and notices
  • only cross when directed to, if it is a manned crossing
  • always expect a train if it is an unmanned crossing
  • follow the Rail Cross Code
  • shut and fasten the gates after you have crossed, if it is an unmanned crossing

This is the Rail Cross Code.

  • Always expect a train.
  • Stop behind the white line, look both ways and listen for a train.
  • Give way to trains.
  • When the railway is clear, cross quickly - never stop on the tracks.
  • If there are gates, shut and fasten them after you - it's the law.

Safety on buses

When you are using buses you should:

  • hold your child's hand while waiting for the bus and getting on and off the bus
  • wear seat belts if provided - this is the law
  • teach your child how to use seat belts
  • stand well back on the footpath or grass verge while waiting for the bus and until it stops
  • stay seated while the bus is moving
  • don't cross the road until the bus has moved off and you can see clearly in both

Bus and minibus safety on organised trips

Organised transport in buses or minibuses includes to and from:

  • school
  • school trips
  • other dedicated outings

All hired buses or minibuses that are used to transport more than 3 children must be fitted with seatbelts.

Seatbelts must be worn by everyone. This includes your child.

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019
Next review due: 10 May 2022