Seat Belts Not Required on School Buses

3 years ago August 28, 2012 Aug 28, 2012 Tuesday, August 28 2012 Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:23:09 PM CDT in News
By: Kelly Carlson

COLUMBIA - Most school buses in the United States do not have seat belts or a similar restraint to protect kids from a car crash, including those Columbia Public Schools uses through First Student. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets national standards for school bus safety, requires seat belts for buses under 10,000 pounds.

But larger, yellow school buses that most people see every day, do not require seat belts. These school buses are designed and constructed differently from passenger cars. School buses protect passengers through "compartmentalization." This design includes seats with high backs, filled with energy-absorbing material, placed close together, and with strong anchorages.

The National Safety Council says school buses are forty times safer than a car. The decision on whether or not seat belts should be mandatory on school buses is left to individual states. There are only six states which require seat belts on buses those include California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Robyn Sinclair said she will not let her children take the bus because there are no seat belts. Of the handful of parents KOMU 8 spoke with, the majority agree there should be seat belts on school buses.

Coordinator of Transportation for Columbia Public Schools David Wilson said he understands parents concerns, but he said buses are the safest form of transportation because they are heavier vehicles.

Some studies have shown seat belts on school buses may cause even greater risks in the incident of a crash. Seat belts work only if they are worn correctly, which poses a challenge on school buses that carry students ranging in age from teenagers in high school to children in elementary school. The weight difference and size between the kids means seat belts would need to be altered and fitted each ride.

Wilson also argues that seat belts on buses could actually be a safety hazard.  He said seat belts would have the passenger jerk forward at the waist, most likely resulting in neck or abdominal injuries. However, if the bus flips, Wilson said the "kids will flip also."

If a law were put into effect in Missouri, and an accident occurred where a student was not wearing his or her seatbelt then the driver and/or monitor of school buses would be held liable.

Another reason some states don't have seat belts on buses is because of the amount of money it would cost to install the belts. According to the NHTSA, it costs approximately $10,000 to add seat belts to one school bus. Also, with seat belts fewer kids would fit on a school bus, so school districts would have to purchase more buses to make up for the difference.  

While Wilson said he doesn't think seat belts are necessary for student safety, he added a trained and qualified bus driver is necessary. He said school districts and bus companies who contract with districts should hire well-trained drivers who understand the safety precautions that need to be taken with many lives in their hands.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Twelve cities are arguing a state law capping how much revenue municipalities can draw from traffic... More >>
12 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 7:21:46 PM CST in Continuous News
MOLINE ACRES (AP) — Police in the St. Louis suburb of Moline Acres are investigating the stabbing death of a... More >>
12 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 7:12:57 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Trade deals between Missouri and Colombia and Peru could bring more than 6,000 jobs to the state in... More >>
12 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 6:27:09 PM CST in Continuous News
CAMDENTON - The Camden County Sheriff's Office is investigating allegations of criminal behavior within the courthouse. The investigation started... More >>
13 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 6:22:56 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A job application for at-risk Columbia youth to get paid work experience ends Friday at midnight. The... More >>
13 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 6:15:48 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A body was found under Highway 63 bridge near Clark Lane and Hinkson Creek Friday. The cause... More >>
13 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 5:50:52 PM CST in Continuous News
SLATER - A teacher was injured in a chemical explosion at Slater High School Friday. The woman was taken... More >>
14 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 4:44:21 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou's athletic department suspended two basketball players from Saturday's game. Jakeenan Gant and Russell Woods were told... More >>
15 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 4:16:06 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – The White House announced Friday the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, sparking feelings of both optimism and frustration... More >>
15 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 3:51:14 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - More than 1,000 firefighters, emergency personnel and responders from across the country traveled to mid-Missouri Friday for dozens... More >>
16 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 3:18:50 PM CST in Continuous News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is using new jobs numbers to take a victory lap on the economy. ... More >>
16 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 2:49:00 PM CST in Continuous News
WARRENTON (AP) — A mid-Missouri man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the shooting death of his... More >>
18 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 1:13:17 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY — The United Way of Central Missouri held its annual meeting Friday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in... More >>
18 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 12:51:27 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Several University of Missouri students are pressing the system's governing board for faster reforms in diversity as... More >>
19 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 11:57:22 AM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY — One state lawmaker has dropped his restraining order against a fellow representative. The two are now working... More >>
20 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 10:41:04 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The search committee for a new University of Missouri system president will include two students, two faculty... More >>
20 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 11:09:04 AM CST in Continuous News
MILTON, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff's sergeant in the Florida Panhandle says the search for a Missouri couple suspected in... More >>
22 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 9:14:59 AM CST in Continuous News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Advocates for the homeless say Springfield police have told people they have 48 hours to leave homeless... More >>
22 hours ago February 05, 2016 Feb 5, 2016 Friday, February 05 2016 Friday, February 05, 2016 9:08:12 AM CST in Continuous News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
8am 32°
9am 36°
10am 39°
11am 43°
Select a station to view its upcoming show schedule: KOMU 8 CW Mid-Missouri's CW

Coming Up Next

7:00 amToday Weekend
8:30 amLazyTown
9:00 amFloogals

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pmDateline NBC
9:00 pmSaturday Night Live

Coming Up Next

7:00 amCalling Dr. Pol
7:30 amCalling Dr. Pol
8:00 amDog Town, USA

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pmFamily Guy
7:30 pmFamily Guy
8:00 pmBob's Burgers
8:30 pmBob's Burgers
9:00 pmKOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pmSeinfeld