I rode a school bus with no seat belts and giant potholes in the road when I was a kid. We’d fight over who got to ride in the last two seats. Those seats were like a ticket to Six Flags. I guess in a small town, kids do what they can for entertainment. Not much has changed regarding school bus safety since I was a kid. Only six states require seat belts on school buses. Those states are California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
Every year, kids are killed and thousands are injured in school bus accidents. Since I became a mother, it has always bothered me that school buses don’t have seat belts. I thought that perhaps the reason may be due to a possible fire or the bus crashing into a body of water, where small children may not be able to unbuckle their seat belts to evacuate the bus. After all, there are seat belts on airplanes. And they make darned sure you’re wearing it!
Traditional thinking is that “compartmentalization” is a good way (but not great) to keep kids safe. Since the seat back is high, it’s also padded and very close to the seat in front of it. So, if the bus is hit from the front or the back, those kids should stay within their own little “compartment.” What if the bus is hit from the side or if the bus rolls over? Well then, that is just not enough.
So, why don’t kids have seat belts in all buses? Maybe that will all change. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also says that seat belts make school buses safer. They have made a statement that, this fall, they will come out with some action.
Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Seat Belts on School Buses – Comedy Defensive Driving