READING - Seatbelts on the School Bus

school busI am often asked why school buses are manufactured without seatbelts. We are all accustomed to using them in our cars and know that they are a significant factor in reducing injury or death in a collision. If this is the case, shouldn't our children have the same benefit when they are bused to and from school?

Transport Canada reviewed this issue and produced a report, TP13330. The report states that there are on average less than one death and only a few serious injuries suffered each year from school bus collisions in Canada. It is unclear whether seatbelts would provide better protection than that afforded by current seat back design. Statistics and reports from the United States are cited showing it is not worthwhile to install seatbelts on school buses.

However, on October 15, 2008 the U.S Department of Transportation announced changes to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 requiring the installation of 3 point seatbelts in school buses with a Gross Vehicle Weight of less than 4,600 kg. along with higher seat backs to afford better occupant protection.

Seatbelt standards for larger buses are being amended as well. I wonder how long it will take for Canada to follow along...

Looks like it took 12 years after this article was written for a pilot project. The next question will be how long after the pilot will it take to implement seatbelts on all school buses?

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