How many of you have ever ridden the bus to school? I bet you’ll understand what I’m about to say. I only just started riding the bus to school last year, but throughout the past year, and even now, I have experienced overcrowding, falling off of the seat, and getting pushed into the people next to me, and the window plus, getting pushed and shoved when trying to board the bus in the morning, and after school.
I want you to take a moment and think. How many people, kids and adults, each year get seriously injured on buses because there are no seatbelts? If the law says that people in cars need seatbelts, why are there no seatbelts on buses? In 2013, 2,400 people experienced a vital injury while riding a bus. Riding in a vehicle should be one of the safest places to be in, but buses are off of the list. What will happen if the bus makes an unexpected turn and everyone in seats behind the driver fly or fall off because they don’t have seatbelts? It is important that we all are safe. In order for all of us to be safe, it is important to have seatbelts in whatever we travel in. But unfortunately, in 2011 more than 283 people were killed due to riding a bus without seat belts. Without them, riding a bus can be very dangerous and unsafe. I don’t want to get on a bus and think I’m gonna get hurt or die. None of us want that.
Seatbelts are important in cars, trains, airplanes, boats, helicopters, roller coasters, but why not buses? As I said before, seatbelts should be a requirement for bus travel. I mean, federal law requires seat belts on school buses weighing 10,000 pounds or less. They often carry preschoolers or special needs children. But what about us? What about regular kids, like you and me, who ride the bus EVERY SINGLE DAY? So many people have lost their lives because of this. I’m lucky that I get to and from school each day safely off the bus. Maybe one day I won’t. Maybe one day you won’t. I need your help to make buses safe. In order to do this, I need everyone here to believe we CAN do this. I know we can. Just think of all those poor people who have had a serious injury because of no seat belts. Think of those poor people who have died because of this. On school buses the average number of children injured each year is 8,000. Just think if that were you in that situation. What would you do about it? I know, if I were in that situation, where I was injured, I’d do something about it. For example, my bus was so overcrowded in the first few weeks and even first few months of school that there were three people per seat when there should’ve only been two. In addition to not having seat belts and overcrowding, another reason for bus accidents is the driver being distracted. Misbehavior is the most likely reason that drivers are distracted from people screaming, fighting, or even from throwing things. That causes the driver to take their eyes off the road and pay attention to the misbehavior. Even though they have that big mirror in the front, they still take their eyes off the road. How often do you hear screaming or incredibly loud conversations that pull the bus driver’s attention away from the road amd almost causes an accident? In conclusion, I think that bus safety is something that affects a lot of people. If you’re a bus rider like me, I hope this is something that is important to you as well. If you feel like there is something you can do to make your ride safer, whether it’s speaking up about overcrowding, asking other people to lower their voices, or talking to someone about getting seatbelts on the buses, don’t be afraid to speak up. Make a difference.