Today’s cars have seat belts, numerous airbags, rear-view cameras, anti-collision brake systems and shatter-proof glass. Yet many school buses do not have seat belts. As a parent, this may come as surprise to you, and you may worry about your child’s safety. So, why don't school buses have seat belts?
This issue has been carefully considered by transportation and safety experts for many years and the lack of safety harnesses on school buses is intentional. Are the experts correct?
Let’s examine both sides of this issue.
First, let’s consider the reasons why seat belts are not the norm on most school buses.
Some reasons why seat belts should be on school buses
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), new school buses of 10,000 pounds or less must have lap-shoulder belts. Additionally, the NHTSA recently allowed states or local jurisdictions to choose whether or not to install safety belts on larger school buses (more than 10,000 pounds). Currently, six states have passed some form of school bus seat belt law, including California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas.