U.S. to pay for seat belts on school ...

U.S. to pay for seat belts on school buses

There are 9 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Nov 19, 2007, titled U.S. to pay for seat belts on school buses. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

The nation's top transportation official wants more students buckled up while riding school buses, but the numbers show children are already safer on the bus than off.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.


Denver, CO

#1 Nov 19, 2007
I have heard that Compartlization (padded high seat backs) actually protect the children better than any seatbelt. My question is, if seat belts are a good idea for buses, why are they inadequate for our private vehicles and even deemed dangerous?

Calverton, NY

#2 Nov 19, 2007
School buses have relatively few accidents because of all the steps taken to prevent them. But when they do have an accident they'd be far better off with seat belts. In the accident described in the article, seat belts would likely have prevented the three injuries reported. Every now and then a school bus rolls over down an embankment, usually causing numerous injuries and even deaths. Seat belts would greatly reduce the seriousness of such accidents.
Retrofitting seat belts is expensive; it's much cheaper to build them in to begin with.

United States

#3 Nov 19, 2007
I have driven a school bus and am against seat belts for a simple reason, the difficulty in evacuating sixty grade school children when the only adult on the bus is the driver. The floor of a school bus is usually plywood. From the time smoke is first noticed a bus can be fully engulfed in flames in less than five minutes. How are you as one adult going to evacuate sixty seat belted five through ten year old children in less than five minutes?

United States

#4 Nov 19, 2007
Matthew is exactly right. Seat belts, except for smaller buses with a limited number of young children on them, are a bad or even dangerous idea. Think of the difficulty, on a bus that's upside down, with kids who can't unbuckle themselves, getting them out of the bus safely. I'm convinced over a five-ten year span more children would die from using seat belts than without using them.

United States

#5 Nov 19, 2007
Another unfunded idea from the federal government. If the feds want seatbelts installed on school buses they should buy every school district one new bus for every two existing buses to offset the loss of seating capacity due to seatbelts--90 passenger buses without seatbelts become 60 passenger buses with seatbelts. Oh, and after they buy the new buses they should kick in the extra fuel and other operating costs for running 33% more buses--it recently cost about $5 a mile to run a school bus--and that was when diesel was under $3.00 a gallon. State taxpayers will get stuck with the hidden costs that far exceed the pocket change the feds will spend on seatbelts

New Philadelphia, OH

#6 Nov 20, 2007
What happens when you need to fit three kids in a seat, but there are only two seatbelts? And how the heck will the driver know if the kids have their seat belts on??? Most people sit with their backpacks on their back, because there isn't room at their feet. How would a seat belt fit around them? And what about obese kids? How will they fit in a standard seat belt? Sorry if I offend anyone, but this is completely STUPID!!!

Hillsborough, NC

#7 Nov 20, 2007
I'm waiting for them to mandate exploding airbags on the backs of all seats. :-)

High Point, NC

#8 Nov 20, 2007
We have roads that are in poor shape, we have bus drivers who test positve for drugs, and most school bus related fatalities occur when children enter and exit buses. Why don't we use this money to improve these issues and work to prevent accidents? This is a very bad idea.


#9 Nov 20, 2007
My main concern is if all those students are buckled up for safety reasons, especially kindergartens, and the bus was in an accident, perhaps flipped and on fire, who is going to get them unbuckled?? The driver can only do so much, so fast with children screaming. We need to really think about that.

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