Good Question: Why don't school buses have seat belts on them?

A week ago we were reporting a tragic story from western Kentucky.

A school bus in Carlisle County crashed, killing a six year old student and injuring several more.

When a story like that airs we receive a ton of questions concerning school bus safety.

Good Question: Why don't school buses have seat belts on them?

Images of a school down an embankment and overturned can often call into question the safety of a 32,000 pound school bus.

"I'll guarantee you that the statistics show that bus is four times safer than any other form of surface transportation," said John Kiser, the Director of Transportation for Fayette County Schools.

Kiser over sees 200 buses on the roads daily.

When it comes down to the question of seat belts on his buses, Kiser believes in proven safety testing from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.

"The bus is designed to be a safe compartment for the kids even without the seat belts. "Also the seats are designed to collapse in a frontal collision, if the student hits the back of that seat which is padded hard enough it will collapse the seat causing a cushioning effect." said Kiser.

If there were seat belts, Kiser worries about students getting out of them in an emergency.

"If they couldn't self release and the assumption has to be made sometimes that's going to be the case it would be very difficult," said Kiser.

The National Transportation Safety Board has found most fatalities and injuries on buses are the result of where a child was seated and that a seat belt would not have protected against the crash force they received.

Kiser also says his drivers are trained not to swerve when they encounter something in the road, instead they are told to stay on the hard surface and brake as soon as they can.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus


2851 Winchester Rd. Lexington, Ky 40509 859-299-0411 - switchboard 859-299-2727 - newsroom
Register for Email
RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 122483004 -
Gray Television, Inc.