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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2010 :  6:16:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Senators reject school bus seat-belt requirement

By Tim Hoover

MAR 27 2010
The Denver Post

Arizona -- A proposal to require seat belts on school buses was trounced in the Senate on Friday.

The debate came as the Senate considered House Bill 1232, which would clarify the definition of "school vehicles" in state law. Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, who has sponsored legislation in the past to require school buses to have safety belts, offered an amendment to the bill.

The amendment would have required all buses purchased after June 30 to have three-point shoulder and lap belts and for all passengers to wear them.

"There are compelling reasons to do this," said Shaffer, who said schools are increasingly purchasing buses with three-point harnesses.

The idea was shot to pieces by Republicans and Democrats, who said the proposal would be too costly and that school buses are already safe.

Sen. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, a former high school teacher and basketball coach, said the requirement would add $30,000 to the cost of every school bus. ...

Click Here for full story

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WallyG
Advanced Member

United States
254 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2010 :  05:55:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
$30k sounds really high, do the math an 84pax is just under 360 a seat which seems really high. I am asuming they are objecting to not being able to ram and jam the kids into the seats like we do today without seat belts. What moron started the 3 to a seat rating anyway?
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2010 :  09:22:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
<< "What moron started the 3 to a seat rating anyway?" >>

It was not the manufactures. They disclaim this rating. On a beltless school bus upto four could safely sit in a seat, three is not out of the question at all for the bulk of the students and two works for larger students.

On a k-8 bus it is fairly easy to seat three to a seat when safety requires 'out of the aisle' and the driver rearranges the students to meet that requirement. Obviously there is no comfort zone and to work well requires cooperation/compliance from the students, enforcement from the drivers and effective support from the provider. A few students may fit with only two to a seat when out of the aisle is required.

How far into endangering students a provider is willing to venture has much to do with passenger capacity. I believe there remain eleven states that permit from 15% up to 25% overcapacity on their school buses with students standing in the aisle and all that. Seat belts and use required would mean more buses in those states.

At least lab belts ought to be installed and use required. Where restraints are ordered lap belts continue to be the number one installation on new production school buses. (jk)

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

453 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2010 :  2:43:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I always love these ridiculously high figures lawmakers and those who oppose three-point belts come out with. $30,000 is pure bull.
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coolbusdriver
Top Member

Canada
1509 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2010 :  4:04:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When they give this price, are they quoting what it would cost to outfit a current school bus with belts, or a brand new one not yet out of the factory?
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2010 :  10:03:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Would have to be a super deluxe retrofit version ‘As Seen On TV.’

School buses were supposed to be retrofit ready out of production for some decades, in the event seat belts were installed later. But there was this little clause that allowed providers opt out a seat belt ready bus.

$30,000 would still seem about double or triple inflated above actual cost to retrofit a school bus. $1250.00 a seat for a 24-seat bus? Perhaps includes kickbacks to political campaign funds.

Fitting a bus at production is the most cost-effective route and the best option in my opinion, especially with lap belts, the very minimum school buses should be equipped with in my opinion.

Lap belts dangerous on school buses is a myth, utterly disproved. Regardless, remains promoted along with ridiculous inflated costs to equip buses with 3-pts. The reality is that behind the scenes last year [2007] the nation's largest integrated school bus manufacture IC Corporation's new school bus production in the U.S. included 28-percent factory installed with seat belts -- 25-percent with lap belts; 3-percent with 3-point belts.

The idea seems simple enough, too lame to even qualify as some sort of conspiracy: Discourage use of a useful and inexpensive safety device, while at the same time promote a safety device with inflated costs to discourage there requirement. Same game, different deceptions.

A massive army from the medical profession is becoming more involved and probably again that same influence will prevail with school buses as they did with automobiles in the fifties.

As industry friendly strategies become more apparent in that the same strategies were used to keep restraints out of cars for a time, the weaknesses also become apparent that can overcome the deceptions. Actual science and the medical profession involvement to educate the general public about the benefits of belts on school buses are likely to prevail. They certainly have in the courts.

A simple rule to remember: When liability enters the picture, which it has in recent years, the only real option to savings concerning the school buses not equipped with seat belts is never crash the bus.. (jk)

The nation's largest auto maker at that time, General Motors, declined to offer belts even as optional equipment. General Motors' "safety engineer," concluded, "seat belts are not essential for safe driving." Also GM's styling vice-president was not impressed with seat belts, "This just encourages the nuts,” and coined the term, "the seat-belt crazeu." ~ PBS/NOVA

These are among the major professional medical organizations that endorse the installation of seat belts on school buses: The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Center for Auto Safety, American College of Preventative Medicine, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM), American Assoc. Oral, Maxillofacial Surg. (AAOMS) endorse the installation of seat belts on school buses.

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 03/28/2010 10:14:31 PM
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bus724
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USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2010 :  05:35:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JK

Lap belts dangerous on school buses is a myth, utterly disproved.


http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crashworthiness/SchoolBus/SBReportFINAL.pdf
NHTSA Bus Crashworthiness Report, 2002

Crash tests demonstrate a higher risk of neck injuries to passengers wearing lap belts versus unbelted in a frontal crash. Results are summarized on page 46 (page 51 of the file).

Lap belts offer greater protection in a rollover or side impact, but increased risk of injury in a front collision. 3-point belts are the safest option, but expensive. They can't be safely retrofitted without replacing the entire seat, and add $11,000 to the price of a new 72pax bus (price quoted by a Blue Bird sales rep interviewed for a research paper I wrote on the subject).

By NHTSA's estimates, 3-point belts installed on every school bus nationwide with 100% correct use would save 2 lives a year. The cost of installation would be much better spent on programs that could save more lives, such as increasing bus ridership, decreasing walk distances, education and support about loading/unloading safety and safe riding behavior, improving unsafe road designs, preventing drunk driving, preventing distracted driving, etc.

quote:
These are among the major professional medical organizations that endorse the installation of seat belts on school buses: The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Center for Auto Safety, American College of Preventative Medicine, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM), American Assoc. Oral, Maxillofacial Surg. (AAOMS) endorse the installation of seat belts on school buses.


How many of those organizations have actually researched the effects of seat belts on school buses, as opposed to supporting them based only on statistics in other vehicles?
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2010 :  1:16:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
<< "Crash tests demonstrate a higher risk of neck injuries to passengers wearing lap belts versus unbelted in a frontal crash. Results are summarized on page 46 (page 51 of the file)." >>

For a more accurate science go to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB website), and some excellent real life information is also available from Dr. Alan L. Ross, current president of the NCSBS.

New Jersey has had lab belts on thousands of their school buses for decades. Belts became a non-issue in New Jersey since required installation after 1992 with some sixteen thousand school buses equipped with seat belts by 1998. Might want to contact Dr. Arthur L. Yeager, Edison, NJ ( [email protected] ) to find out how many kids in lap belts on their state's school buses, or any state's school buses equipped with lap belts have had the theoretical horrific injuries claimed happens by others in this industry, including ejections. Then ask how many in real life on beltless buses have sustained those injuries, including ejections.

No belts on school buses is school principals associations and an industry special interest concept, not the original engineers concept, which included seat belts. So many against belts on the school buses seem to forget that little detail.

<< "How many of those organizations have actually researched the effects of seat belts on school buses, as opposed to supporting them based only on statistics in other vehicles?" >>

They all have, or most have, and when it goes from the politics to the courts, who is it that prevails in the courts? Industry experts claiming the buses are safe without belts, or the expert doctors?

That is the very reason I keep presenting here to remember this simple rule: When liability enters the picture, which it has in recent years, the only real option to savings concerning the school buses not equipped with seat belts is never crash the bus.

Seat belts are becoming the reality on more of our nation’s school buses and regardless of every effort from the industry, their related associations and some government industry agencies can muster to stop this safety device installed.

And what was said in a previous post concerning behind the scenes at IC's new school bus production levels. Who's kidding whom?

Lap belts and use required are the minimum safety requirement that ought to be required on school buses, in my opinion. (jk)

NTSB Investigation of Conasauga Train-School Bus Collision
MEMORANDUM - June 18, 2002, To: All State Directors of Pupil Transportation, Fm: Pete Baxter, President. Sschool bus/train collision that occurred in Conasauga, Tennessee: ... Of the four passengers who remained inside the school bus, two were fatally injured, one sustained serious injuries and one received minor injuries. [Real Life]: That child was wearing one of the lap belts that had been installed in the first two rows of the school bus, presumably for use in securing child safety seats in the school bus.

NTSB - Accident Simulations Note the child in a loose fitting lap belt.

Lap belts help, even when loose fit

School Bus Compartmentalization Is Not What It Seems…

Crash protection on school buses

Conneticut Death

Seat Belts in School Buses

Safer, including easing bus driver distraction

Arizonia Promotion

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 03/29/2010 1:17:26 PM
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bus724
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USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2010 :  4:59:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JK

The reality is that behind the scenes last year [2007] the nation's largest integrated school bus manufacture IC Corporation's new school bus production in the U.S. included 28-percent factory installed with seat belts -- 25-percent with lap belts; 3-percent with 3-point belts.



Since when is customer ordering preference an indicator of safety? Yes, lap belts are 6 times more popular than 3-point. No belts at all is 3 times more popular than lap belts.

Thank you for finally posting some sources. I don't have time to check every link now, but I'd like to know how many of those are based on science and not emotion. I notice a link regarding the CT accident in January. Everything I've heard on the news is an emotional response to one death that may or may not have been prevented by seat belts. Proponents in this state have cited a study that shows the majority of the public in CT supports belts. Using a survey of the uneducated public to legislate based on emotion is rubbish.
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/29/2010 :  9:15:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Your post is somewhat surprising. You seemed to have breezed by a lot of info to then present what some might consider an emotional response.

Of course there is emotion involved, people are not robots. And plenty of subjective reasoning shows up as well on both sides of this issue. Your post has emotion coming through, as well as an appearance of attempting to move away from discrediting the medical profession to now criticizing the so-called "uneducated public."

It is predictable what can be said in the courts concerning school buses involved in crashes and not equipped with at least lapbelts, since it has been said many times in many prevailing cases: "...were occasioned by an accident in which they were unrestrained and that the lack of seatbelts [on the school bus] was a substantial factor (proximate cause) in causing their injuries." These expert opinions were to a, ''reasonable degree of scientific certainty,'' is mentioned throughout these sorts of cases.

(As of August 12, 1998) ''There are no documented [catastrophic] injuries sustained by an occupant wearing a seat belt while riding a school bus during a crash.'' -- National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) School Bus Crashworthiness and Survivability Public Hearing. At that point over seven-hundred school districts had lab belts on their school buses, 16,000 school buses in New Jersey alone were installed with lap belts. Emotion, or fact?

Would seem there was plenty of emotion involved when Flagstaff, Arizona, decided to forego seat belts on their school buses only to then eventually owe over $28 million in settlements after permanently disabling two of their students in a 1996 bus crash. One student was ejected from the bus and the other banged around inside, hitting the ceiling then slamming his back onto a seat top. 28-million brings about a lot of emotion from both sides of a case involving horrifically injured schoolchildren, especially when medical experts can show the cause was a lack of seat restraints, something readily available to install during production.

Survey's of the educated medical profession yield even higher results in favor of belts on the buses than does the so-called "uneducated public." There is more than emotion involved in their position. You didn't seem to notice that it was primarily the medical profession's efforts that successfully brought seat belts to cars over fifty years ago and I believe will do so again with the school buses. Are you also against restraints in automobiles? The automobile industry was.

Emotion and money do seem to set the buying agenda for both the public and the industry. Logically, or shall we say, "scientifically," properly fitted 3-pts are claimed to work better than 2-pts, although 2-pts are certainly adequate on the bigger school buses, in my opinion. Yet, when it comes to money seems many of the providers are spending their dollars on lap belts, not 3-pts. There must be some emotion involved there, since logic would claim 3-pts are supposed to be better than 2-pts..

The emotion I would presume that we do not want to be a part of is the killing or permanent maligning of any child in a school bus crash because seat belts were not available.

I'll say it yet again, and consider this an emotional response, or a logical one, or a fact, or an opinion -- doesn’t matter really: When liability enters the picture, which it has in recent years, the only real option to savings concerning the school buses not equipped with seat belts is to never crash the bus. (jk)

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 03/29/2010 9:17:42 PM
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  05:37:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For spacing purposes, the rule of thumb on a 3-point belted seat is that you will lose 1 row of seats for every three rows. This is a 30% redction in bus capacity. A 13 row bus would then become a 9 row bus to meet seat containment spacing specs.

A 13 Row 77 pax bus would lose 4 rows. The price of that bus would go up by appx $6000.
The $30k figure probably comes in when a 3 bus a year account goes from spending $75kx3=$225k to haul 231 passengers to spending $81kx4=$324k to haul 216 passengers.
In a more realistic world, 3-point belts is a $99,000 bump to go from hauling 153 passengers to hauling 144 passengers. There seem to be more 19"+ backsides than 13" backsides to fit into a 39" wide seat.

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  06:55:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JK

Your post is somewhat surprising. You seemed to have breezed by a lot of info to then present what some might consider an emotional response.


As I said, I don't have time to view every link now. I intend to at some point in the future. In the meantime, I will try not to pass judgment on your sources, but I have read many reputable sources on both sides of the issue.

quote:
Of course there is emotion involved, people are not robots. And plenty of subjective reasoning shows up as well on both sides of this issue. Your post has emotion coming through, as well as an appearance of attempting to move away from discrediting the medical profession to now criticizing the so-called "uneducated public."


Belts are a hot topic in the CT news media right now. 3 months ago we had our state's first recorded on-board school bus fatality. The government is trying to push an unfunded or under-funded mandate for 3-point belts, and nearly every statement I've seen quoted on the news is some variation of "cars have them, so buses should too." This argument is comparing apples to oranges, and is the source of my "uneducated public" comment. The public in this state is mostly unaware of the compartmentalization concept. The use of public surveys to support seat belts is inappropriate, as it misrepresents opinion as fact.

quote:
Survey's of the educated medical profession yield even higher results in favor of belts on the buses than does the so-called "uneducated public." There is more than emotion involved in their position. You didn't seem to notice that it was primarily the medical profession's efforts that successfully brought seat belts to cars over fifty years ago and I believe will do so again with the school buses. Are you also against restraints in automobiles? The automobile industry was.


No, I am not against restraints in automobiles, since the restraints were designed specifically for those vehicles. I am also in favor of three-point belts on buses. What I am opposed to is the expense. Transportation departments at most public school districts are severely underfunded. While it sounds callous to put a price on any life, money doesn't grow on trees. The limited funds should be used where they will save the most lives.

quote:
Emotion and money do seem to set the buying agenda for both the public and the industry. Logically, or shall we say, "scientifically," properly fitted 3-pts are claimed to work better than 2-pts, although 2-pts are certainly adequate on the bigger school buses, in my opinion. Yet, when it comes to money seems many of the providers are spending their dollars on lap belts, not 3-pts. There must be some emotion involved there, since logic would claim 3-pts are supposed to be better than 2-pts..


Many share your opinion that 2-points are an "adequate" alternative to 3-points. The cost is significantly less. Some consider the risk of injury from 2-point belts an acceptable alternative to the risk of injury from no belts. I disagree, as crash tests have shown an increased risk with lap belts in certain types of collisions. What about the liability when a serious or fatal neck injury occurs that is clearly attributed to wearing a lap belt?

Just because there are no documented injuries does not mean there is no risk. For decades, the industry standard was to mount an unprotected gasoline tank next to the service door. In 1977, the government mandated a safety cage to protect the tank, even though no major collisions had yet occurred. The eye-opener was a tragic loss of life after those standards took effect, involving a retired pre-standard bus.
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bus724
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USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  07:00:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JustinB

For spacing purposes, the rule of thumb on a 3-point belted seat is that you will lose 1 row of seats for every three rows. This is a 30% redction in bus capacity. A 13 row bus would then become a 9 row bus to meet seat containment spacing specs.

A 13 Row 77 pax bus would lose 4 rows. The price of that bus would go up by appx $6000.
The $30k figure probably comes in when a 3 bus a year account goes from spending $75kx3=$225k to haul 231 passengers to spending $81kx4=$324k to haul 216 passengers.
In a more realistic world, 3-point belts is a $99,000 bump to go from hauling 153 passengers to hauling 144 passengers. There seem to be more 19"+ backsides than 13" backsides to fit into a 39" wide seat.



Last month, a Blue Bird rep gave me the following prices (per seat):
No belts: $134
Lap belts: $167
CE White 3-point: $608

For 24 seats, the difference between no belts and 3-point is just over $11,000.

He stated that the increased thickness would result in one lost row on a 13-row, meaning a capacity of 71 on a 77-passenger body.
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:10:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doh?! I stand corrected. I was thinking of integrated child restraint seat spacing. [<8)]

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.

Edited by - JustinB on 03/30/2010 10:12:21 AM
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

453 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:15:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All depends on the seat manufacturer as well. Some child restraint seats don't take up any additional space, and some 3-point seats don't take up any additional space.
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:24:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
>> "Last month, a Blue Bird rep gave me the following prices (per seat):" >>

I think those costs can clearly show the reason some provides would opt for lapbelts. Unless mandated most would go emotional with their money and choose the minimum option. Would presume it mentioned that lap belts would not alter the so-called capacity rating. Nor would the flexseat version.

Some districts prefer two lap belts per seat on one side and three on the other. In New Jersey they actually experienced an increase in actual seating available because students on near capacity buses were required to team up, rather than argue for a seat to themselves or two kids to a seat (Source: Dr. Arthur L. Yeager, Edison, NJ [email protected] ).

Depends on needs. Our buses typically run below rated capacity, so no issue for us. But even when at or near full rated capacity that remains a non-issue. Simply arrange seating to accommodate, removing students from the bus that day that refuse to comply with the bus driver's directions. We seem to be able to mange k-12 adequately out of the aisle and sitting forward in their seats without belts installed on our big buses in most cases, so no real issue here. there remains a few exceptions, of course, seems consistently the case with some students at the beginning of the school year that would apply with or without belts.

I have no issue with 2-pt or 3-pt belts, whatever suits my community's school board is fine with me. I welcome the belts for a variety of reasons, including helping to reduce bus driver distraction and the benefit of the belts helping to keep kids seated. (jk)

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 04/01/2010 09:09:14 AM
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:30:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
<< "As I said, I don't have time to view every link now." >>

Understandable.

There is not much to gain from arguing this issue on and on -- not that I mind discussing the issue as long as we can stay civil. Regardless, a simple reality check makes it clear enough some version of restraints will eventually be required on all school buses. Want a Cadillac luxury version, then the district/provider ought to pay for that extra cost themselves. Lapbelts ought to be funded according to the current funding criteria. (jk)

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:42:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
<< "No, I am not against restraints in automobiles, since the restraints were designed specifically for those vehicles." >>

The auto industry was.

The lap belt versions were adaptations from an airplane seatbelt inventor, later upgraded to a 3-pt in cars. Some individuals also retrofitted pants belts or other strapping to anchor themselves in the first carriage-style automobiles. Never caught on as a production item until the fifties and the medical profession’s involvement.

Lapbelts in the rear seat of cars turned out to be a bad idea, because of the rigid design of automobiles in those days, and also the soft seats in cars caused problems for that device. They work well on school buses.

By the way, and just to mention, the research presented concerning how bad lap belts are on school buses was from old research done on cars. This was even briefly mentioned in the seminar presentations I attended and in various reports before the presenter would proceed trashing the use of belts on school buses. On the school bus a poorly fitted lapbelt is reported as safer than a poorly fitted 3-pt..

In the Tennessee/Georgia train/bus crash mentioned earlier in this thread a small child was buckled into a lapbelt that was presumed on the bus for car seats. That bus was struck at some 50mph ejecting and killing some kids, as well as killing two on the bus. I saw the actual video of the young child violently thrashed around in her seat restrained by a loose fitted lapbelt. She sustained the least injuries. An amazing video that I've been looking for and hope myself or someone else here can locate it on the net. (jk)


Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 04/01/2010 09:05:38 AM
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/30/2010 :  10:58:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) is upset at an article Parade Magazine published, titled, "Are School Buses Unsafe?" Seems they felt left out of the article. Frankly, would consider the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) a more favorable source than the NASDPTS.

Click here for the report

Free Photos, Ads, New School Year Bus Safety Template with Quiz - for use in schools and transportation departments to help promote school bus safety. Not for Resale use. Contact if release needed. You do not have to be a member to download these resources. Click Here for link

Edited by - JK on 04/01/2010 09:07:31 AM
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2010 :  09:27:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Read a sad report in another magazine's comment area that warrant’s reposing here. For your consideration:

Repost Source: Parade Magazine
Yes to Seat Belts in School Buses
by windsong7980 posted: 03/21/2010 06:24:PM


As a survivor of a serious school bus accident I feel that I must weigh in on this topic.

Imagine what would hapen to riders in a school bus that left the road, turned on it's side, or flipped. Riders would not stay in their "compartmentalized" seats. They would be thrown all over the bus knocked unconscious, and maybe even ejected from the bus. Unconscious riders would not be able to evacuate the bus.

That is what happened to a school bus filled with Girl Scouts in 1991. When we left the road I was thrown against the roof of the bus hard enough to be knocked unconscious. I was sitting in the second row of seats behind the driver. I came to completely outside the bus. The first thing I heard was being pronounced DOA. We had seven that were killed in the accident. Among survivors we had at least 5 broken backs (and possibly up to 8) and three broken necks. One of the girls died of a head injury. Another died of a broken neck. Seat belts would have prevented us from being thrown around the bus and possibly have prevented me from being a paraplegic for the past 18 years.


--

Real life trumps theory. The actual horrific lifelong injuries that happen to children in school bus crashes happen on beltless buses, not on buses equipped with at least lap belts and use enforced. (jk)

Here are a few additional links for any interested:


Why Seat Belts on School Buses?

Evacuation/Seat Belt Onboard Training Video

2009 School Bus Related Deaths - A useful document when wanting a quick reference to deaths while discussing bus stop safety and when looking at updating school bus safety policies. Click Here for Link
(See Post #10)

Edited by - JK on 04/01/2010 11:42:10 AM
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Thomas Ford 85-16
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USA
4170 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  08:00:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
JK you must live in an area where school bus funding is of no issue. I am for seat belts, but it has to be done sensibly and at the right time. Now is not the right time. My school district has been running a defecit for years and one real option on the table is simply closing its doors. Not consolidating with the schools around us, but closing period. The kids in this area would have to squeeze into the already crowded schools around us. And, yet another school district in my state recently axed all bus services. How do you think other districts will react if suddenly they have to buy all new buses with seat belts? It's absurd that retrofitting can't be considered.

For the time being, I'd rather see kids on buses with no belts than to have no buses at all. To scare parents away from school the buses with sesnational reports is irresponsible. No one can afford putting our non-belted buses out to pasture and paying an additional $10,000 more on new buses. To half-ass it and put lap belts only on a bus is not good either. Research on SCHOOL BUSES has shown they cause more injuries to the head, pelvis, and neck.

Safety sensitive school bus parts are expensive. A stupid roof hatch alone can cost upwards of $500...what do you expect the cost to be of a component that will have three children strapped to it?

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3217
New Member

Canada
4 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  08:23:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit 3217's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It only makes sense to have two passengers per seat. It is unreasonable to carry 72 passengers on a school bus which it is licensed for especially in cold climate regions that requires passengers to wear heavy outer clothing. Also students today all carry backpacks that require more space. This 72 passenger seating capacity should be change to 48 no matter what the age is. Then if seat belts become a requirement then the cost would be reduced by 1/3. Who in their right mind thinks that 72 grade 1's packed in on a school bus is really safe anyway. It is time that the regulators wake up and face reality. It seems like everything around us changes except for school buses. They really haven't change much in the last 30 years. Still a big steel box on wheels with the same windows and cheap uncomfortable passenger and driver seats. Compared to other vehicles on the road today school buses haven't changed that much.
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bus724
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USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  11:10:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I drive in a colder climate where students often wear bulky clothing. I can put most students up to 5th or 6th grade 3-to-a-seat in a standard 39" seat. When sitting down, they are expected to take off their backpacks and hold them on their laps for the entire ride. If any clothing (hats, gloves, scarves) is removed, it goes in the backpack until needed again. As long as all 3 are seated properly, no one is out in the aisle.
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JK
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USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  1:28:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
<< "Research on SCHOOL BUSES has shown they cause more injuries to the head, pelvis, and neck." >>

Certain research has or claims to have shown, not the bulk of the research on this issue that claims the opposite. I have no objection to Cadillac seatbelts, bullet proof windows, or any other perceived luxury a community might want. Simply don't believe the state is obligated to pay for that. Lapbelts work great on school buses, the dominate research demonstrates that reality. In real life the horrific head, pelvis, and neck injuries (and ejections) happen in crashes on beltless buses, not on lapbelted buses. As far as funding not aware myself of any school district with plenty of funds, in most cases much of the cost of at least lapbelts can be covered by the state with new bus purchases. That again may explain one reason lapbelts are installed on school bus when not specifically mandated for 3-pts. All this is already abundantly covered in this thread, sorry you somehow missed the presented sources. When liability enters the picture, which it has in recent years, the only real option to savings concerning the school buses not equipped with seat belts is to never crash the bus.

High court reinstates part of Huntsville bus wreck case
-- The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday the lack of seat belts in a school bus that crashed in Huntsville in 2006, killing four students, can be used in lawsuit against the bus manufacturer.

Some, not all, of our buses are often at rated capacity. Hasn’t been a problem seating k-8 so the students are out of the aisle and sitting forward. High school does have most of the riders two per seat. The backpacks and anything else is not entitled to take an available students seat. They work it out so everything is out-of-the aisle before the bus is permitted to exit the school. Kinda thought that was the norm everywhere, but guess some exceptions exist. (jk)

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Edited by - JK on 04/02/2010 8:26:11 PM
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bus724
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USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2010 :  8:41:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday the lack of seat belts in a school bus that crashed in Huntsville in 2006, killing four students, can be used in lawsuit against the bus manufacturer.


Suing a bus manufacturer for not installing seat belts is insane. That decision is made by either state law or the school district. Voluntarily including a $10,000+ option would make it impossible for a company to be competitive. Even lap belts at approximately $800 for a full-size could cost them a bid.
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2010 :  01:08:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not having the money, which would mean not having 10 to 20 percent of the upgrade cost at bus purchase for many districts, the state covering the remainder, seems not much more to equip an entire bus than what a family pays for a decent car seat. Can't imagine parents attempting to use that excuse and escape consequence for failing to buckle their kids, if not by law but also by enforcement of much higher premiums from insurance carriers, as well a a reduction in the payment of claims. Where not government welfared still can not be that big an issue since nearly a third of IC's new production includes seatbelts installed. Somehow a significant portion of the ordering population has figured out how to make it all work. Some school districts in states using belts but not mandated include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wisconsin. Perhaps New Jersey (16,000 school buses mandated with at least lapbelts by 1998) and also the hundreds of school districts across this country with at least lapbelts installed on their school buses ought to be asked how they did that? It can not be that complicated, but if it somehow is the case, there is a hudge abundance of expertise to help get it done. There are also several resource links in this thread to help with that as well. I've become convinced that were you actually wanting belts you would have already found many of the sources out there to help that happen. Everyone seems to want to be on welfare these days. I accept that for lapbelts, but not for the Cadillac versions. I'm not buying into all the excuses and frivolous sidetracking not to provide children the protection they need, especially when it can be done economically with help from the state or not. I'm uncertain myself that suing the manufacturer for selling an unbelted bus is winnable, but I'm not a lawyer. Seems they would have to prove perhaps that the manufacture knew a school bus without belts created unreasonable risk for children. State law not funding or not requiring belts seems to have become irrelevant, if the seller (and also the buyer) had been warned of the risks by competent experts, such as the medical profession. For sure when the predictable settlement costs threaten to become greater than the installation of belts, what do you think will happen next? For now never crash a beltless school bus. (jk)

2009 School Bus Related Deaths - A useful document when wanting a quick reference to deaths while discussing bus stop safety and when looking at updating school bus safety policies. Click Here for Link
(See Post #10)

Edited by - JK on 04/03/2010 01:19:37 AM
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2010 :  12:05:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Show Down in Conneticut: School Buses
Legislature To Discuss Estimated Costs Of Seat Belts On School Buses

April 10, 2010|By AMANDA FALCONE, The Hartford Courant
HARTFORD — Requiring seat belts on school buses in Connecticut would be a costly proposition for local and regional school districts over the next 12 years, according to the legislature's budget office.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis projected expenses for 12 years because that is how long it is expected to take to replace the state's fleet of roughly 6,553 large buses. The state's smaller buses already have seat belts.

The office says the new buses would cost local and regional school districts an additional $45.2 million to $103.4 million over the 12-year period. The state technical school system would spend an additional $644,000 to $1.5 million on the new buses. ...

The transportation committee passed the bill last month without knowing how much the initiative would cost. The appropriations committee, however, will have the recent Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates handy when it makes its decision.

Cost estimates were based on the premise that one new bus with three-point belts, on average, would cost between $82,000 and $116,000. On average, new buses without seat belts cost between $75,000 and $100,000. ...

Rep. John Geragosian, D- New Britain, co-chairman of the appropriations committee, has questions about the costs associated with the seat belt bill and said he wants to find ways to bring the price down. School districts could join together to lower the purchase price by buying in bulk, he suggested, adding that he wonders if school districts would save money on their insurance policies if buses had belts. The main concern is the safety of children, he said. ...

Click Here for full story

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Edited by - JK on 04/11/2010 12:06:37 PM
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