School Bus Seatbelts; Are They Really a Good Idea?

Topics: School bus, Bus, Automobile safety Pages: 3 (1169 words) Published: May 27, 2008
School Bus Seatbelts; Are they really a good idea?

School buses today always seem to be upgrading with different safety features. But the question I’m asking is if these features are really as safe as they are said to be. There are many parents worried about the need for seat belts on a school bus and why they are not enforced and required like they are in other vehicles. Seats are higher now, with significantly thicker padding, and that padding now extends around the entire seat, eliminating the metal bar of earlier buses. They're closer now too, and with less room between them, the chances of additional injuries are reduced; thus making transportation of students safe without the need of installing seatbelts. Every year, over 450,000 public school buses travel more than 4.3 billion miles transporting over 23.5 million children grades K-12 to and from school and other school-related activities. A School bus report that was sent to congress by the US Dept. of Transportation says that students are nearly 8-9 times safer when riding on a school bus than in any other vehicle. The fatality rate for school buses is 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars (USDT). This safety record is all due to the Department of Transportation’s requirements for compartmentalization on large school buses, and seat belts plus compartmentalization on smaller buses. Compartmentalization is the name for the protective envelope created by strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing high seat backs that protect occupants in the event of a crash therefore protecting children as defined by National Transportation Safety Board. A very important reason for why these seat belts are not required is because the size of a bus is enormous and the greater weight means that children are less likely to become vulnerable than when in a regular vehicle. Passengers on a bus do not sit next to large windows...
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