Update: Alabama School Bus Seat Belt Study Hits Bumps

October 20, 2008

  • October 20, 2008 at 6:30 am
    RReggie says:
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    All these well meaning folks in Alabama just don’t get it. Seat belts save lives.

    So it costs’ an extra $600 per bus to install these little live saving devices, what’s the big deal?

  • October 25, 2008 at 11:08 am
    James Kraemer, 2safeschools says:
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    From the recent story, Alabama School Bus Seat Belt Study Hits Bumps, University of Alabama civil engineering professor Dan Turner, who is heading the study said: “I consider these minor [issues]. I’ve done a lot of these type projects and all of them have little bugs you have to work out.’

    I agree. None of the excuses in the story changes anything.

    High seat backs on school buses also block sexual activities and other mischief, which was warned about in school bus driver Internet forums when higher seat backs were first proposed. If these horrific possibilities were not a serious issue, then neither could unbuckling be that serious an issue.

    The seat belt issue is a relatively simple one and regardless of the battling going on over this issue. Little KG’s can buckle and unbuckle in a flash. Rather than gracefully engineer the seats and teach kids to take responsibility, the answer seems now would be more aides, more cameras positioned around the bus and high capacity DVR recorders. None of that does a blasted thing to teach kids responsibility.

    Would have preferred that over engineering seat belts on school buses hadn’t happened and myself that seats remained at a height, which allow some observation.

    Regardless, teaching students to accept responsibility, to make better decisions remains the issue, not so much adult supervision, especially while driving the bus. Lap belts would have served the purpose and still does a great job in many school districts, these simple belts protecting children and reducing bus driver distraction.

    The bus driver’s duty is to announce buckling-up. Those that refuse to buckle or unbuckle in route? Off the bus and to the school office until agreeing to follow the bus driver’s directions. Those unbuckling in route but remaining seated as though buckled are better protected, are less distractive and have made a decision, like anything else, to subvert directions. If injured it seems obvious (or ought to be) that the provider is not as liable where this issue is pointed out in policy. Insurance may not cover a potion of the medical or may not cover any of the medical costs that resulted from disobeying directions.

    I would think that where parents want seat belts on their school buses, then so be it. They want lap belts? Done. They want auto adjusters and sophisticated engineering, high seats and sensors, then pay for those extra costs out of their community’s own pocket.

    I see nothing in the story that’s an issue, only more garbage gumming up a reality that excludes protecting kids, as well as protecting their bus drivers.

    Can make one wonder how school buses ever upgraded away from wood framing and wood seats.

    James Kraemer is a twenty-year veteran school bus driver in Oregon. He is the founder of 2safeschools.org. on-line Website. The purpose of 2safeschools is to help save one child’s life.

  • November 11, 2008 at 3:27 am
    Kenzie Mannino says:
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    From birth children must be in safety seats, booster seats and seat belts…
    Why are they not is school buses?

    Seat belts – Save Lives!

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