On September 21, 1999 when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported a special investigation of bus crashworthiness and concluded that:
Current compartmentalization is incomplete in that it does not protect school bus passengers during lateral impacts with vehicles of large mass and in rollovers, because in such accidents, passengers do not always remain completely within the seating compartment.
The National Coalition for Seatbelts on School Buses lists the following as reasons why all large school buses should have seatbelts. (Smaller school buses that weigh less than 10,000 pounds are already required to have them.)
- If a crash occurs, the use of seat belts will reduce the probability of death and the severity of injuries to children correctly seated in school buses.
- Seat belt usage improves passenger behavior and reduces driver distractions.
- Seat belts offer protection against injuries in rollover or side impact crashes.
- Seat belt usage in school buses reinforces good safety habits.
- The cost to install seat belts is nominal.
According to a study by the AAP in 2001-2003, there were an estimated 51,100 school bus-related injuries treated in the United States emergency departments, which averages to about 17,000 children injured in school bus accident each year. Lap shoulder belts reduce injuries and fatalities by about 45% in all types of crashes.
Why risk putting these young children at risk everyday?
(Sources: http://www.ncsbs.org/testimonies/fatalities_and_injuries.htm; http://life.familyeducation.com/school/safety/36260.html; http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15581273/ns/health-childrens_health/t/school-bus-injuries-much-higher-thought/#.Ub9jDOf2Zc4)
California, New York, New Jersey , Florida, Louisiana, and Texas school districts require seat belts. LET'S PUT INDIANA ON THIS LIST!