Alabama should be commended for requiring seat belts on some school buses. The state has implemented a three year study to determine if children are in fact safer with seat belts on a Bus. Of course the only way the state will be able to figure this out is by having a rollover accident of a bus without seat belts (and seeing how many children die) v. a rollover of a school bus with seat belts (and seeing how many children live). Let’s just say I would want my three children to be in the test group with seat belts.
Only six states have laws requiring seat belts on school buses but there are currently no national guidelines. "Transportation Secretary Mary Peters issued a proposal last November that would expand the use of shoulder belts but stopped short of ordering that all new buses be equipped with seat belts." Alabama Students Buckle Up on the Bus, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Section B5, Col. 1, (8/12/08)
I generally believe that states should have the power to decide issues and the more decentralized the role of government the better off we all are. This is not one of those times. The Federal Government should act to protect our children and require Seat belts. This should include retrofitting existing buses with lap belts.