School Bus Seat Belt Program
The Palatine Foundation firmly believes in; and, supports all actions towards, the reform of current school bus safety requirements in order to improve the safety of our children. While most school bus construction is nominally “sound” there are no requirements for seat belts for each child.
The Palatines are openly campaigning now for inclusion of seat belts in all school busses; and, the added requirement of permanent seating for each passenger.
Millions of children rely on school buses to transport them to and from school and school related activities. .In general, school bus manufacturers do not install safety belts on their school buses. In general, school districts in North America, do not require safety belts as required equipment on their buses. Accidents involving school buses always result in injuries to children/student passengers that could have been avoided if safety belts had been installed and used.
This form of transportation is very safe. On average, only six passengers die each year in school bus crashes. In comparison, each year approximately 2,000 children are killed in motor vehicle crashes.
WE WANT TO KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE!
The federal government has established 35 safety standards to help ensure safe school bus transportation and states are free to pass even stricter regulations. One area still up for debate is that of occupant protection on school buses. Although safety belts provide excellent protection in passenger vehicles, the effectiveness of safety belts on school buses is unknown because the effectiveness depends upon the type of restraint, how it is used and the type of crash.
In 2008, NHTSA announced a rule change to FMVSS 222, which now requires new school buses of 10,000 pounds or less to have lap-shoulder belts in lieu of the lap belts currently required. The rule also requires increasing the height of seat backs from 20 inches to 24 inches and allows states or local jurisdictions to decide whether to install seat belts on larger school buses (over 10,000 pounds). California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas have passed some variation of a seat belt law for school buses but funding has not been appropriated in some states. In 2015, 12 states have introduced bills that would require school buses to have seat belts installed, but none of the bills have passed.
WE WANT EVERY SCHOOL BUS TO LOOK LIKE THIS ONE!
On November 8, 2015, NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind declared that NHTSA policy is that every school bus should have a three-point seat belt€¯ and indicated that NHTSA will seek to use all the tools at our disposal to help achieve that goal. It’s pretty simple if you want to help protect our school children from harm.
Please contribute what you can.