You Mean Ta Tell Me .....

Discussion in 'VMBB General Discussion' started by SixTGunr, May 9, 2005.

  1. SixTGunr

    SixTGunr New Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Southwest Missouri
    That there are NO seat belts/restraints installed on todays school buses ... :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Saw this statement in an article from the FOX News page describing the recent school bus crash there this morning.


    Fatal School Bus Crash Near Kansas City
    Monday, May 09, 2005

    LIBERTY, Mo. — A school bus crashed into two other vehicles as it approached a suburban Kansas City intersection Monday morning, killing two people in the cars and injuring more than 20 children.

    Both other vehicles were nearly demolished. Missouri Highway Patrol spokeswoman Angie Weddington confirmed those killed were in the cars.

    "Obviously it's a worst nightmare, basically," Liberty School Superintendent Scott Taveau said. "This is a community that cares about kids and cares about education. This is a tragedy for this community."

    Two people were critically injured, Liberty City Administrator Patty Gentrup said, but she could not say if they were children.

    Denise Seley, a spokeswoman for Liberty Hospital, said three children were airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital. She had no information on their conditions.

    Another child had emergency surgery at Liberty Hospital, but no details were available.

    "It was mostly bumps and bruises, but some fractures," Seley said of the injuries. "The most serious were internal injuries."

    Twenty-three students were taken to hospitals, with 15 others released to their parents, Taveau said. He said he had no information on the children's conditions.

    The bus was taking kindergartners through fifth-graders to Ridgeview Elementary School when the crash happened about 8:30 a.m. Police said the cars had apparently stopped at a stoplight when the approaching bus suddenly veered to the right and slammed into them. The bus driver was not injured.

    Workers from a nearby Hy-Vee grocery store rushed to help.

    "Why don't they have safety belts on school buses?" Vickie Whattoff, one of the workers, asked. "A lot of the injuries were from kids flying forward and hitting the seat in front of them."

    Another worker, Kristin Bosak, said the children were crying for their parents and several were bleeding badly.

    Frantic parents showed up at the scene despite pleas from the district that parents stay away. Large tarps were placed over the two other vehicles, perhaps to shield children from the frightening scene.


    Six Out!
  2. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    It's true Six.

    School buses have slighty improved seats over what you and I rode school as kids but still no belts.

    I don't know what kinda lobby those people have but so far they have managed to not to install them yet.

    After every tragedy such as this there is always an outcry as to why not seatbelts on school buses. They seem to die out after a short period of time.

    I agree that there is a definite need for them to protect our children, but all they have to do is cry poverty and our kids are still in danger.

    The fact is that school buses are the cheapest models that school districts and contractors are willing to purchase to save money.

    We all know how school districts are always screaming for more money and they say that the old Bluebird and Standard are all they can afford.

  3. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    When our local school district outsourced their school bus transportation a couple of years ago, a representative of the bus company spoke to our Kiwanis Club, and brought a bus for us to tour after his talk. On the bus, someone asked him about the seat belt issue. His answer was that the seats are designed in such a way (with high, padded backs, close spacing, etc) that they create a protective space for the children, and that seat belts were unnecessary.

    I found the following link, which repeats what the bus rep told us (they call it "compartmentalization" in the link)

    Not saying I agree with them; just letting you know how they justify it.
  4. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    I disagree!

    I believe that is the company line and they'll die spoutin' it.

    They just don't want to spend the trouble or $$$$$$$$ to change what they have been getting away with for decades.
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  5. SixTGunr

    SixTGunr New Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Southwest Missouri
    I had this posted also on yet another board that I partake in and got this response from one of the members that found some info on this ....


    If you go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site you can read about why they don't require seat belts. Here is the article from the web site, hope this helps.


    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for establishing Federal motor vehicle safety standards to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle crashes, including those involving school buses. We also work with the states on school bus safety and occupant protection programs. School bus safety is one of our highest priorities.

    School bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. We require all new school buses to meet safety requirements over and above those applying to all other passenger vehicles. These include requirements for improved emergency exits, roof structure, seating and fuel systems, and bus body joint integrity. These requirements help ensure that school buses are extremely safe.

    Every year, approximately 394,000 public school buses travel approximately 4.3 billion miles to transport 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Since 1984, on the average, 11 passengers per year have died in school bus crashes. While each of these fatalities is tragic, it should be noted that the numbers of fatalities among school bus occupants are small when compared to those in other types of motor vehicles. For example, in 1995, twelve occupants in a school-bus-body type vehicle died in a crash. During the same year, 8,168 children between the ages of 5 and 20 died as passengers or drivers in all other types of motor vehicles.

    School bus crash data show that a Federal requirement for belts on buses would provide little, if any, added protection in a crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have come to the same conclusion. NTSB concluded in a 1987 study of school bus crashes that most fatalities and injuries were due to occupant seating positions being in direct line with the crash forces. NTSB stated that seat belts would not have prevented most of the serious injuries and fatalities occurring in school bus crashes.

    In 1989, NAS completed a study of ways to improve school bus safety and concluded that the overall potential benefits of requiring seat belts on large school buses are insufficient to justify a Federal requirement for mandatory installation. NAS also stated that the funds used to purchase and maintain seat belts might better be spent on other school bus safety programs and devices that could save more lives and reduce more injuries.

    Rather than requiring seat belts, NHTSA decided that the best way to provide crash protection to passengers is through a concept called "compartmentalization." This requires that the interior of large buses provide occupant protection so that children are protected without the need to buckle-up. Occupant crash protection is provided by a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs. The effectiveness of compartmentalization has been confirmed in the NTSB and NAS studies.

    Small school buses, those with a gross vehicle weight rating under 10,000 pounds, must be equipped with lap or lap/shoulder belts at all designated seating positions. Since their sizes and weights are closer to those of passenger cars and trucks, the agency believes seat belts in those vehicles are necessary to provide occupant protection.

    School bus pedestrian fatalities account for the highest number of school bus related fatalities each year. There are about 31 such fatalities per year, about two-thirds of which involve the school bus itself and about one-third of which involve motorists illegally passing the stopped school bus. In its 1989 report, NAS stated that since children are at "greater risk of being killed in school bus loading zones (i.e., boarding and leaving the bus) than in the bus, a larger share of the school bus safety effort should be directed to improving the safety of school bus loading zones." NHTSA agrees with NAS that states and localities should focus their efforts toward improving school bus loading zones.

    While no Federal requirement exists for seat belts on large school buses, states and localities are free to install them if they feel it is in the best interest of safety in their area. However, the NAS report states that if seat belts are to be beneficial, "states and local school districts that require seat belts on school buses must ensure not only that all school bus passengers wear the belts, but that they wear them correctly."

    Seat belts have been required on passenger cars since 1968. Forty-nine states have enacted laws requiring the wearing of seat belts in passenger cars and light trucks. Laws governing the usage of occupant restraints are the prerogative of each state. We strongly believe that wearing seat belts is important. On December 28, 1996, in his weekly radio address, President Clinton asked all Americans to always wear seat belts as the first line of defense against injuries and fatalities. On April 16, 1997, Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater submitted a Presidential Initiative to Increase Seat Belt Use Nationwide. It emphasizes the strong enforcement of occupant protection laws as a key component and calls for Members of Congress, Federal agencies, governors, mayors, law enforcement, business and others to play active roles in this national endeavor.

    School buses are heavier, experience less crash forces, and distribute crash forces differently than do passenger cars and light trucks. Because of this, the crash force experienced by the passengers of large buses is much less than that experienced by occupants of passenger cars, light trucks, or vans. Federal regulations require the installation of occupant restraints in motor vehicles based on the vehicle type and size. Because the safety record of school buses is outstanding, and because there is no compelling evidence to suggest that seat belts would provide even higher levels of occupant protection in crashes, NHTSA agrees with the NAS report that there is insufficient reason for a Federal mandate for seat belts on large school buses.


    Six Out!
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