Seat Belts on School Buses Could Keep Our Kids Safer on Their Daily Commutes

School busIn efforts to make our children a little safer during their commutes to and from school, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges school buses to have three-point seat belts that will help keep kids safe in the event of an accident.

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NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind is hoping more people will stop arguing about why school buses are safe as is -- and start looking for new ways to protect children in the event of an accident. With the help of advocates and officials from states with school bus seat belt laws, Rosekind seeks to encourage more school districts to get on board with this new federal policy position.

The use of seat belts in school buses has been a constant topic of discussion for some time -- with safety advocates going back and forth on whether or not they're needed. Just last year, the National Association of State Directors and Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) changed their views by favoring them on school buses. While the NHTSA and NASDPTS recommendations aren't a push for a federal mandate, they do hope states and local school districts will look for areas in their budget to include school bus seat belts (Rosekind aims to help states find ways to overcome any cost challenges).

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As a parent, I'm happy to hear that more safety organizations are trying to look for ways to add seat belts to school buses. Sure, it was fun to "take a ride on the wild side" by not having to wear a seat belt on a bus (did anyone else jump with your hands in the air as the school bus hit a speed bump?), but there are some pretty scary accidents happening that should make us question why they aren't there in the first place. I think it's safe to say that watching bus cams of children being smacked into a seat -- and worse, being thrown to a window or the roof as the school bus overturns -- would put a knot in anyone's stomach.

Just as we push to keep our kids safe in cars with car seats and seat belts, there should be some additional layer of protection in a school bus that goes beyond a seat back.

 

 

 

Image via Christopher Boswell/shutterstock

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