Seat Belts Not Required on School Buses

6 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 28 2012 Aug 28, 2012 Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:23:00 PM CDT August 28, 2012 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
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
21 minutes ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Students walking around MU's famous Quad may have seen an unexpected visitor Thursday. MU student Massimo Montalbano... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The scooter company Lime announced it has taken its scooters out of Columbia for the immediate future. ... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:49:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:22:59 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The number of homeless people living in Boone County has increased in the past 10 years, according to... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ ) stock fell as much as 11% on Friday — on track for... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:46:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, a day... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:39:38 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook announced on Friday that the social network had exposed the private photos of millions of users without... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 10:15:10 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen said his former boss knew that having Cohen arranging... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:44:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU Professor Francis Huang wants schools to rethink suspensions and embrace a positive learning environment. Haung conducted... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 10:10:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- 20 bikes and helmets were donated to Columbia kids in time for the holiday season. Big Brothers Big... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The former chief financial officer for Columbia Public Schools was sentenced Thursday to five years probation. Anna... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City teen has been charged in connection with a November fatal shooting. Bruce Thomas... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people who live near the intersection of Vandiver Drive and Parker Street just north of Interstate 70... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:33:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
9pm 38°
10pm 38°
11pm 37°
12am 37°