Officials Debate Putting Seat Belts On School Buses

Police say it all the time: seat belts save lives. But millions of students ride to and from school every day, without them.

Some recent high profile crashes, including some in Kentucky one in Alabama that killed four students has federal officials talking about the possibility of requiring seat belts on school buses.

The National Transportation Department in Washington, D.C. meets this week to look at information on seat belts. They're trying to determine if it would be safer for students to buckle up on the bus.

Those who support the idea point to recent crashes, like the one in Grant County back in January, as to why seat belts are needed.

Video from inside the bus showed how violently children inside were thrown around when the bus crashed. Two children were critically injured.

The bus driver, Angelynna Young, is now serving a prison sentence for driving the bus under the influence of drugs.

It's because of that crash, and others like it, that the Kentucky Department of Transportation says it supports the federal government's investigation into the possible need for seat belts on buses.

In Thursday's meeting in Washington, D.C., the transportation department met with not only safety officials but educators and bus manufacturers to figure out the best way to improve school bus safety.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Brandi Campbell Location: stanton on Jul 16, 2007 at 08:49 AM
    I agree with a lot of the viewers on this situation - we have strict laws about seat belts in our own vehicles (ESPECIALLY when it comes to children) but not on vehicles that transport SPECIFICALLY kids?? Makes no sense to me whatsoever!!
  • by Paul Location: Lex on Jul 16, 2007 at 08:21 AM
    City Busses here in Lexington don't have seat belts either. No one says a word about that. There should be no debate, of course have seat belts but how do you fit kids of varying sizes to the same seat belts, will the driver have to buckle in the young ones? Adjusting the belts for all involved? This is a good idea but implementing it would be tough. To all you School Bus drivers, thanks for your service, i don't see how you do it day after day. And to driver in frenchburg, i think its horrible you don't have a monitor on your bus, your school board should have to explain that one. I'm sure its a budget decision but i'd think the kids safety would come first.
  • by driver Location: Frenchburg on Jul 15, 2007 at 08:16 PM
    I can see the idea here, but I don't see it happening. I drive a bus and I don't have a monitor or aide. With 50-65 kids on the bus at any given time, HOW CAN I MAKE SURE EVERY CHILD IS BUCKLED AND DO MY JOB DRIVING? You people who don't drive a bus, don't have a clue of the responsibility that is on our shoulders. My job is to transport the children to school and home again safely. Thrown in with the driving, I get to play nurse, principal, guidance counseler, peace keeper, janitor (when one gets sick), do you get the picture? PLus we deal with divers everyday that run our stop signs & decide to pull out quickly in front of us to make sure they don't get behind us. I like the guys idea of putting them off the bus and the parents swatting their butts....but if you want to know the truth, I don't think parents will swat the behinds, they would rather blame the old mean bus driver and take up for the kid. More parents need to take reponsibility for their own kids behaviors. The other driver on here lists some very real scenerios that could cause problems with the seat belts also. Until you know all the facts please don't jump on this bandwagon.
  • by Charles Location: Kentucky on Jul 14, 2007 at 10:28 PM
    I say there should be seatbelts on the buses. If the kids refuse to wear them then kick them off the buses and make the parents have to bring them to school or pay for a taxi to bring them. I think after they get their butts swatted a few times by the parents then they will be happy to wear the seatbelts.
  • by Harlan Location: Ky on Jul 14, 2007 at 09:43 PM
    OK... this is BULL...!!!! we pay taxes on our house and vehicle...every year... we pay state taxes and federal...every paycheck... and the seat belt LAW is BULL... it should be OUR RIGHT to wear or not to wear our seat belt...and i do think seat belts has saved some lives but in the same bases they have took peoples lives aswell... but when the police sees us without ours on we get a ticket... we pay taxes on that vehicle... so if we get a ticket for not wearing our seat belt then i think the school board should get a ticket for each of our children they carry on there buses... but the school boards and the police says saftey first for our children and you see who gets the only seat belt on they bus.. the (driver)... so whats next...??? for the Ky laws...
  • by mixed up k Location: corbin on Jul 14, 2007 at 11:27 AM
    I am very mixed on seatbelts on a bus, and I drive one! Most kids probaly would not buckle and then there would be the concern and distraction to the driver and aides trying to see they do and stay buckled. Because some kids feel we are picking rather than trying to keep them safe and will not do as needed. Plus there would have to be more buses on the roads, but, my main concern is if the bus wrecks or is involved in a wreck and it is in danger of objects in roadway, train or catching fire and you have injuries of kids,driver or aide and you need to get those students off the bus and to safty and in all the chaos you have jammed belts someone is going to have to try and cut those kids out as well as try to calm them and look for a safe place to get kids off and away from the mess. Where as, if [and I hope it never happens] it would be faster to get those kids off or help rather than jammed in a seatbelt. It does not take long{3-5} minuted for a bus to fill with smoke and no visibility and more panic. And if you only have one seatbelt cutter or if it does not break or dull and no one has a knife,then.....
  • by josh Location: london on Jul 14, 2007 at 04:11 AM
    i think it is a good ideal but in order for it to work they would need more bus rout because the ones we got now has to many knid on them.
  • by Sheila Location: Russell Springs on Jul 14, 2007 at 03:29 AM
    It is about time! If the students refuse them, well...keep them off the bus!
  • by Common Sense Location: Lexington on Jul 13, 2007 at 11:53 AM
    Let's do two things: #1 Put the seat belts on the bus and if they arent' buckled, the bus won't start (seat sensors would tell if the seat was occupied for the belt to be buckled). #2 Put a breathalyzer by the driver's seat and you have to blow "alcohol free" for the bus to start. Far fetched? yeah, but wouldn't it be great!
  • by Lorita Location: Lexington on Jul 13, 2007 at 05:03 AM
    Kentucky has a seatbelt law. Being on a school bus should not be an exception.
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