Proposal could bring seat belts to school buses - WNEM TV 5

Proposal could bring seat belts to school buses

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

Should school districts be forced to install seat belts in all of their new school buses? That's the proposal in Lansing right now, awaiting a formal discussion.

But is there a bus safety issue that needs to be addressed? There is debate over how much protection a seat belt offers children on school bus.

A Michigan lawmaker is proposing a bill that would make it mandatory all children wear seatbelts on school buses. The problem? Buses don't currently have seatbelts.

According to several districts TV5 reached out to, including Saginaw Township and the Freeland school district, they insist, children are not in danger on school buses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with the district. Studies show that children are safer without seatbelts on buses in head on crashes. As a safety standard, school buses have a compartmentalized design of padded high seats.

The irony here is that with seatbelts on the buses, fewer children would fit. That would result in more parents driving their kids to school. All crash data shows that children are far more likely to be hurt or killed in a crash traveling in a car than a bus.

Also, if fewer children fit on the buses it forces districts to invest in more vehicles. The big question in that case is the cost of such a move.

TV5 will continue to follow this story and will provide updates as new information is learned.

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