Why don’t some school buses have seatbelts? | #schoolsaftey

SCHOOL buses play a crucial role in a child’s education as they are responsible for bringing them to and from their place of learning.

Some states require busses to have seatbelts while others don’t, and now parents want to know why that is.

Only six states require seat belts on all school bussesCredit: Getty

Why don’t some school buses have seatbelts?

Federal law states that school buses less than 10,000 pounds are required to have three-point seat belts, but the decision on those over 10,000 pounds is left up to the individual states.

As of this writing, only six states – California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas – require all school bus seat belts, causing many to wonder why it’s not required nationwide.

There are several reports online claiming to know why some school buses don’t have seatbelts, but simply put, it’s because of the way buses are designed.

“Students are protected within the seating compartment much like eggs in a carton,” the National Transportation Safety Board explained, via NBC Philadelphia.

Read More on school buses

Small school buses, known as Type A buses, are often used for fewer students and those with disabilities. They weigh less than 10,000 pounds and are required to have lap and/or lap/shoulder belts.

Bigger buses, such as Type B, Type C, or Type D, weigh more than 10,000 pounds and are not required in all states to have seatbelts.

How many seats are on a school bus?

The number of seats on a school bus depends on which type of bus you’re on.

  • Type A busses are designed to hold 10-25 students
  • Type B busses are designed to hold 10-27 students
  • Type C busses are designed to hold up to 78 students
  • Type D busses are designed to hold up to 90 students

More information about school bus seating can be found here.

In most states, seatbelts are only required on school busses weighing less than 10,000 poundsCredit: Getty

Are school buses safe or dangerous?

Due to a lack of seatbelts on some school buses, parents worry that they’re not safe, however, the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration assures parents that buses are safe, in fact, they can often be safer than passenger cars.

“Students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car,” the NHTSA explains, via the Vermont DMV.

“That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road; they’re designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in preventing crashes and injuries; and in every State, stop-arm laws protect children from other motorists.”

Data from the NHTSA that was reported by NBC Philadelphia states that only four to six school-age children die each year on school buses, which is less than one percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide.

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