Would seat belts in buses keep kids safer?

Every time we send our kids off to school on the bus, we are putting their safety in other people’s hands. Thankfully, school buses are some of the safest vehicles on Tennessee roads. However, while buses may be safe, there is always the risk of getting into an accident any time people are driving.

Considering the fact that school buses transport such precious cargo, many people would agree that every step toward protecting them should be taken. This leads many people to wonder, “Why doesn’t my child’s school bus have seat belts?” 

Generally speaking, school buses have gone without seat belts due to widely accepted opinion that they do not significantly improve safety. In fact, some studies argued that restraining children could actually do more harm than good by trapping kids in the event of a crash.

Now, however, opinions on this issue are changing. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced its support for equipping school buses with seat belts. While it did not go so far as to require public school buses to have them, the NHTSA did state that installing them would be of benefit to the children.

Whether or not Tennessee public schools will start adding seat belts to buses in light of the recommendation by NHTSA remains to be seen. 

While seat belts may protect children in the event of a bus crash, the best way to keep them safe is to avoid crashes in the first place, which is a responsibility that falls squarely on the shoulders of bus operators and other motorists. Driving safely, paying attention and keeping an eye out for kids around school buses can be some of the most effective ways of avoiding a crash and keeping young passengers safe.