Seat Belts on Buses? Both Sides Of The Ongoing Debate

The App-Garden works with hundreds of school districts nationwide and we have heard the subject of seat belts on buses being debated many times. While this may at first seem like a no brainer “yes we should” answer, many disagree. Below are some pros and cons we’ve discovered to make the decision process a little more understandable.

 Reasons For Seat Belts on Buses:
  • Teaching children that each time they get in a vehicle they need to buckle up for safety is something that can benefit them in the future. If it is a systematic part of getting into a vehicle for them, they are less likely to forget when they are driving their own car or riding in a vehicle.
  • Seat belts help eliminate possible lawsuits for unsafe buses. Let’s be honest, seat belts create a new level of safety for students.
  • Seat belts on buses promote good behavior by keeping students in their seats at all time, leaving less room for problems on bus rides to and from school.
  • Students using a seatbelt are much less likely to be thrown out of a vehicle during an accident. Seat belts provide a locking mechanism to adjust to the size of the child, making sure that when they are impacted, they are held firm and not thrown from their seat.
  • Parents would be less worried about sending their child on a school bus when they are deemed safer by adding seat belts.
  • From personal experience, students may feel safer with even a lap belt to keep them from sliding around on bus seats.
Reasons Against Seat Belts on buses:
  •  Seat belts are pricy. They cost between $7,000-$15,000  per bus to implement. This can be cost prohibitive for many school districts. Implementing them on only some buses may make some parents feel slighted if their child’s bus doesn’t have seat belts.
  • School buses already have a superb safety record due to traveling below or right at the speed limit and being above the impact level of many vehicles.
  • Seat belts could be inhibiting in emergency exit situations such as a fire.
  • Just because seat belts are implemented, doesn’t mean the students will always use them.
  • In some situations there are varying numbers of students on a bus. If you have to add an extra student to a bench seat, who gets the seat belt?
Understandably, these pros and cons make this a hard subject to quickly move through. There are many aspects and angles to consider on this subject.
Keeping track of what equipment your buses have (such as seat belts and harnesses) and the needs of various field and athletic trips can also be a challenge. Sign up for a demonstration of the  TravelTracker-Routing from the App-Garden today and take a look at what we have to offer to make this process easier. Let us show you how beneficial a streamlined, automated process can be!