School Bus Safety

This past week four children were killed in a school bus accident in Minnesota.  On Monday, February 25, 2008 Minnesota State Representatives will discuss a school bus safety bill.  From what I have read the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feels that the "protective envelope" provided by strong, closely spaced seats that have energy absorbing seat backs is good enough.  Now, it is up to Individual States or School Districts to require seat belts.   Will seat belts in buses help to save lives?  Perhaps ..if it were your child that died and could have been saved by a seat belt on a bus..would you contact your State Representative?  Would you go to the next School Board Meeting and state your feelings?  Keeping in mind that seat belts would probably not have saved the two children that were trapped and crushed by the "protective envelope"..but two may have been saved if they had not been tossed around in the bus like rag dolls.   Was this just a "freak" accident?
 If your State or School District should require seat belts in School buses..What kind of parent are you?  Will you just say " It’s the Bus Driver’s problem to make sure all the kids are belted in properly" or will you actually talk to your children and insist that they buckle themselves in and not unbuckle until it is time for them to exit the bus? Seems to me that the ball is in your court on the seat belt in buses issue, and it has been for some time.
Here is another ball you have been juggling…Immigration…   The person that was the cause of the bus accident, had never driven that stretch of road before, she is not a resident of the United States of America, she did not have a drivers license and she does not speak English…if she had never been allowed in our country..things may have been different:(

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One Response to School Bus Safety

  1. susan says:

    I always thought it was funny that seatbelts aren’t mandortory on buses. But being married to a bus driver I have learned it would be nearly impossible to enforced, 1. to enforce it would be the driver and he would have to walk up the aisle and check the kids and nothing would stop the kids from unbuckling,and (no school district can afford to hire an aide to do this) 2.the driver would have to turn of the engine and take key while he did the inspecttion, this is really not good for the buses in cold weather,(while the driver is checking the kids in back kids up front could move the bus) 3. kids could use the seatbelts against other kids, choke them, hit them ect.(they all ready try with back packs ect.) would slow done the process of getting on the bus during stops and the longer kids remain in the bus more bored and unruly they become,increasing chances of problems for the bus driver and taking his focus of driving the kids safely. There are also the cost of installing seat belts,Which would have to be done in a factory, very economically prohibited for school districts or bus companies who would pass on the cost to school districts. Then there are saftey issues on placement of belts, kids come in all different sizes,they’d have to sit in asign seats for the belt not to have to be adjusted everytime they sit., and in MN. we just had a case that asign seating goes against a persons civil liberties they won. I believe the safety of children riding on a bus is way better, than people driving them in cars. Bus drivers undergo yearly physicals and training on safety, first aid,culture, ect. Most bus accidents happen are the fault of another vehicle driver, such as this most recent one. We have presently school bus laws for other drivers to heed especially when approaching stopped buses loading or unloading children, maybe what we need are higher fines,and for people to think of school buses as more like law enforcement vehicles, and slow down and drive carefully when you see one!

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