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Why don’t school buses have to provide seatbelts for our children?

Jim Ware
School bus

A New Hanover County school bus. (StarNews file photo)

“School buses and other vehicles not required to have seat belts are exempt from the NC CPS law. Small school buses that are required to have seat belts ARE covered under this law,” according to the North Carolina School Bus Safety Web.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the construction of school buses removes the need for seat belts.

“Large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than do passenger cars and light trucks. Because of these differences, the crash forces experienced by occupants of buses are much less than that experienced by occupants of passenger cars, light trucks or vans. NHTSA decided that the best way to provide crash protection to passengers of large school buses is through a concept called ‘compartmentalization.’ This requires that the interior of large buses provide occupant protection such that children are protected without the need to buckle-up. Through compartmentalization, occupant crash protection is provided by a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

School bus interior

The interior of a New Hanover County school bus. (StarNews file photo)

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One Response to “ Why don’t school buses have to provide seatbelts for our children?”

  1. On March 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm Jane Dagenhart wrote:

    A former district court judge I know called school buses “cookie cutters.” When in a bad crash after the rivets pop, the steel flies around and chops up anything it can reach. Perhaps this is the reason busses are designed so children are thrown to the floor.

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