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NHTSA Rejects Petition to Require Seat Belts on School Buses

Posted on Sep 30, 2011
Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reiterated that it does not believe that the cost of requiring seat belts in school buses is worth the benefit. According to the Washington Post, the decision came after several national safety advocate groups, including the Center for Auto Safety and the National Coalition for School Bus Safety, petitioned the federal government to let school kids buckle up.

The NHTSA stressed that only about five kids each year are killed in school bus accidents - a rate that makes them safer than virtually any other type of vehicle on the road. They also explained that school buses are already designed to prevent injury, including features like high, padded seats and narrow aisles. Those who do die in school bus accidents likely would also have been killed even with seat belts, they claim.

In addition, the high cost of requiring seat belts in school buses - about $7,500 per bus - is simply not worth the small returns.

Those who believe school buses should be equipped with seat belts point out that children are required to wear seat belts in all other driving situations and that restraints could help with both injury prevention and with school bus driver distraction. They believe that those killed in bus loading and unloading accidents (about 14 kids per year) would also be saved if students in the bus were sitting, strapped into their seats, instead of distracting the driver.

The NHTSA added that enforcing seat belt use on buses would also be difficult because of the buses' tight schedules.

If your child has been injured in a bus accident in Virginia, contact the Virginia bus accident lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan.

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