Motorists and passengers are required to buckle up when riding in a car, so why don’t school-age children have to do the same when getting on a bus? For the most part, school buses are very safe forms of transportation. Each year, it is estimated that 2,000children die in car accidents, as compared to six child fatalities attributable to school bus crashes.
Despite this reassuring statistic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is calling for every school bus across the country to install seat belts. The agency strongly believes that seat belts save lives, and will do whatever it takes to ensure that every child riding a school bus has a three-point seat belt.
Currently, only six states, including California, require seat belts on school buses. The NHTSA wants to launch an effort that will encourage each state to require seat belts on school buses. The NHTSA believes that if six states can overcome cost hurdles in order to implement this initiative, then the other 44 states can as well. However, raising the money for seat belts is easier said than done. For seatbelt installation, the estimated cost is $15,000 per bus.
Even if there were plenty of funds to outfit every school bus with a seat belt for every child, not everyone is convinced of the need for seat belts on busses. Many bus drivers believe that seat belts may do more harm than good. For example, some kids may use the belts as weapons to hurt other kids. Seatbelts may pose a hazard to children, in an emergency situation, where some students may be trapped by their seat belts.
The bus accident attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP represent injured school, church, and city bus riders. If you or a loved one were injured on a bus, contact us today for a free consultation.