N.Y. district selects IMMI belted seating

Posted on September 3, 2010
The IMMI SafeGuard Integrated Child Seat (ICS) will eliminate the use of child car seats at Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools.
The IMMI SafeGuard Integrated Child Seat (ICS) will eliminate the use of child car seats at Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools.

Westfield, Ind. — Last Friday, IMMI announced the completion of an order to supply seating for the 630 buses serving Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools as part of a new transportation contract.

With this order, the district has equipped its entire fleet with SafeGuard Integrated Child Seats (ICS) and 20 percent of its fleet with the SafeGuard FlexSeat. Through a phase-in schedule, by the 2014 school year, all buses will be equipped with the SafeGuard FlexSeat, offering lap-shoulder belt protection to all passengers.  

Former Assistant Superintendent John Fahey managed the bid process that led to equipping the fleet with belted seating. The decision to include lap-shoulder belts on the Buffalo fleet started with Fahey's personal experiences investigating an average of 80 school bus accidents each year. 

"I have witnessed firsthand how compartmentalization works, but during the course of my investigations, I saw way too many accidents where the kids were jostled around the compartment and I wish they had been restrained," Fahey said. "There's a longstanding dichotomy about seat belts in this industry. Seat belts are everywhere else. That never sat well with me." 

In relation to specifying ICS for the transportation of preschool children, Fahey said the district had used child seats in the past. "We transport more than 500 3-year-olds in child seats each year, and we were forced to use a standard car seat, fishing the lap belt of the bus through the back of the seats to secure them," he explained. "We found child seats to be awkward and difficult to use, and we were never able to be fully confident they were always installed properly. Integrated Child Seats will be a huge improvement." 

The new seating technology was specified as part of a recent transportation bid. The district's incumbent contractor was the successful bidder, retaining its longstanding partnership with the district.

Fahey is retired from Buffalo Public Schools and now works for the Tyler Technologies school division as a Versatrans consultant. Director of Transportation Al Diamico will handle the implementation phase of the project when school begins on Sept. 8. IMMI provided training on the proper use of the ICS and FlexSeat for the school system's transportation department and the contractor. 

Related Topics: seat belts

Comments ( 1 )
  • Mark Plante

     | about 8 years ago

    I live in Albuquerque,nm I am a school bus driver for special needs,child ceats that are design for cars and not school bus's don't work,I really believe the goverment should require the flex-seats be installed in all school-bus's,to many kids get hurt,and some kids like to stand while being tranported.I also believe these belt systems should lock.and the driver be able to unlock the belts when child reaches distenation sme kids release there lap belts before reaching home or school.Its also hard to fasten a child down when driver's or attendents can not touch the child,they need to design a automatic shoulder device that automaticly secures the child(like a rollar coaster safty system) that ajustis automaticly the 3-point system is a start now if the goverment well fund the system for all school bus's in the united-states.

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