BUSES NEED SEAT BELTS. How can anyone truly argue that a lap belt on a bus isn’t a required safety feature? They are cheap, inexpensive to install, and prevent injuries and death. Again and again I see bus crashes where seat belts are not installed and passengers are needlessly injured and killed.

Recently a Kentucky school bus crashed, turning over in the process. There was a reported brain injury, broken bones, and other injuries. Merely having a lap belt would have more than likely prevented the vast majority of these injuries. I have blogged about the need for sea belts previously, most recently here, here, and here.

Recently, the federal government closed down several bus companies as unsafe. In fact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued shutdown orders in just ONE DAY last month that declared 26 bus related companies, in six states, hazardous to the safety of the public. The shut down bus companies were based out of Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The Kentucky crash involved a bus operated by New Image Travel of Evansville, Ind., for WorldStrides. It appears the legal name of the bus company is: SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS BUS COMPANY, LLC II with its DOT #1302646.

  • Pat Trimble

    What happens to 60 students, ages 5-18 if the bus crashes, is on fire and the driver is unconsious? Who gets the children out of their “safety” seat belts? What happens when a child uses the metal buckle as a weapon? Our school buses are designed to be a safety compartment for our children.

    Editor’s Response – The “safe compartment” approach does not work in a rollover. It does work in simple front end and rear end crashes, but a seat-belt would help even there.

    I don’t even recall reading about a crash in which a bus caught on fire with its drive unconscious. I think that is a very unlikely result compared to the crashes resulting in a bus rolling over, which I see all the time.

    I would have to add that in any crash that was so severe that seat-belts could not be unfastened, the driver was knocked unconscious, and the impact burst the bus into fire, that not having seat-belts would have probably killed all the children at impact. The children certainly would not be skipping out the door of the bus without assistance. Children would be more likely to survive such a horrific crash, and the forces generated from the crash, with seat-belts.

    We have a “safety compartment” seat systems on airplanes and still have seat-belts!