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How Safe is Your Kid's School Bus?

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Four children were killed yesterday on theirs.


A school bus crash yesterday in Minnesota claimed the lives of four students, and injured 14. "I do not allow my two children to ride on a school bus--even for field trips--because they are so unsafe," says Dr. Alan Ross, president of The National Coalition for School Bus Safety. "We require kids to buckle up in our cars, but most school buses do not even have safety belts! The laws of physics aren't suspended because we put the kids in a large bus and paint it yellow. There's a glaring deficiency here." According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were over 17,000 injuries on school buses in 2006 alone. Installing seat belts would only cost about 5 cents per student per day. Isn't your kid's safety worth a nickel a day? To write to your legislators about making school buses safer, click here.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
RealMomsHaveCurves  February 20, 2008, 3:15 PM

I know when I rode on the school bus (every day mind you) there was nothing to keep me and my comrades from hitting the roof in the event of an accident. They should have seatbelts, esp. if you consider that many Moms don’t have an option to NOT put their kids on the bus.

Maureen from Hatboro,PA February 20, 2008, 4:18 PM

School Districts hold BUS EMERGENCY DRILLS on a regualr basis. Staff, as well as students are familiar with these drills in the School District in which I live. Maybe, it is the other, NON-DEFENSIVE drivers out there on the roads that are to blame, such as the ones who are talking on their cell phones,applying make-up or shaving, on the way to work, while driving over the posted speed limited. People die in accidents in cars and trucks everyday, because of the above mentioned, but when it comes to a school bus….IT HITS THE MEDIA, and questions are asked.

Anonymous February 20, 2008, 4:24 PM

I disagree, because Moms do have an option, take your own children to school if you feel that they are not safe.

Anonymous February 20, 2008, 5:20 PM

Never once has there been a school bus emergency drill in our district. The schools are way behind the times in safety matters with our children. Its inexcusable that our kids get on buses without strictly enforced safety precautions.

psl February 20, 2008, 8:51 PM

I have to say, more reserach needs to be done, and show the public just what the difference will be if belts are put on buses…I also have to say if you have this fear of your children getting hurt on the bus then WHY do you insest on putting them on the big yellow bus everyday even in snow you do it, and then you sit back and wait to see if there will be a accedent or worse .WHY DO YOU DO THIS..Take your child to school in your car were you feel it is safe….Do not put them on the bus They are your world….DRIVE THEM TO SCHOOL>>>

Judy February 20, 2008, 9:09 PM

School buses are te safeset mode of surface transportation in the world. If your serious about your comments, do the research on the matter. You can contact the National Highway Traffic safety administration, NAtioanl Association of Pupil Transportation, National School Transportation Association. You’ll find more children are killed in Mom’s car, friends cars going to and fronm school than school buses. Kids are 800 times safer on a school bus.

Let’s not have this tragedy skew our rational thinking. Think of the 22 million kids transported safely each day. Where’s the media telling us about the good news? answer-It doesn’t sell papers or get us to watch the news.

tara morris February 20, 2008, 10:29 PM

I happen to believe that seat belts wont only be unsafe because in the case of a fire on the bus and you have 72 kids in a seat belt some sleeping some not paying attention to the emergency on the bus. The driver has less than 4 seconds to get every child off the bus safely before the bus is fully overcome by harmful smoke. If a child sees what can happen when he/she is not sitting properly in the seat ie:seat on seat, back on back, feet on or towards the floor; it may make a child realize that he/she is responsible for ones own safety since they dont seem to observe the rules of the bus. They are designed to keep the children safe. Riding a bus is a privilige and an extrememly safe ride given several factors: the driver paying attention to all distractions around and in the bus and the child obeying the rules of the bus. I feel very strong that safety belts on the school bus are a bigger hazard than not.

Anonymous February 21, 2008, 2:49 PM

I agree with Judy and Tara…plus I truly resent the people on here who think that EVERYONE has a CHOICE on whether or not thier kids ride the bus to school. My little brother and I rode the school bus every day - not because my mom didn’t want to be late to a yoga class, but because she was the only one supporting the two of us and had to get to work…I’m sure she would have loved nothing more in the world than to drop us off at school every day. It just wasn’t feasible in our situation. How narrow-minded to say that all “moms do have an option - take your own children to school if you feel they are not safe”…or “do not put them on the bus - they are your world”…I KNOW that my brothers and I are my mother’s world. She just didn’t have the luxury of having that choice. How inconsiderate some of the comments on here are.

And my thoughts and prayers to this entire community dealing with this tragic situation.

Katie March 7, 2008, 10:42 AM

I am a former school bus driver, and I believe school busses are safe. Especially in comparison to automobiles on the roads. They are large, so there would have to be a serious collision to cause damage to a school bus. Also, driving a school bus in Wisconsin was GREAT in bad weather. The busses are so heavy that they do not slide on the snow and ice. I also agree with some of the statements that seat belts I believe could do more harm if passengers need to exit the bus in a hurry, or if they are not used properly. Who is to insure students would even wear them? Also, that is why the bus seats are tall and padded, to help prevent injury if the bus needs to stop fast, collides, etc. Although I understand that in a rollover this would not do much good, that RARELY happens. I can’t believe this man is misleading parents to think busses are so unsafe, they are much more safer than driving your child to school.

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