Seat belts soon to be more common on Texas school buses

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

DENISON, Tex. ― One of the students injured in Wednesday’s school bus crash in Anna talked to KXII-TV. He says if that school bus had seat belts, injuries could have been avoided. Rashi Vats spoke with administrators at one local school district that has seat belts on their buses.

The Denison Independent School District is ahead of the curve when it comes to school buses. Most of their buses already have seat belts. While it is a costly expense, Denison ISD officials say their students' safety is worth it.

After Wednesday’s bus crash in Anna, many parents are wondering how safe school buses really are.

"School buses are still the safest form of transportation," says Les Harding, transportation manager at the Denison ISD Service Center.

Those buses will soon become even safer once a new state law goes into effect in Texas in just over a year. In 2010, Texas Law will require school buses that are purchased by schools to have seat belts. Denison ISD already has 80% of their school buses equipped with them.

Harding says it costs about $600 per seat to install seat belts on school buses already in use. With roughly 28 seats per bus, it would cost about $16,500 to upgrade each bus in the fleet. Add that to the initial cost of the bus, and you are looking at about $107,000 apiece.

Whereas buying a new bus complete with seat belts could cost around $100,000, Denison has already bought 29 of those new buses and upgraded two old buses.

"For the older students, I think it's vital that they wear seat belts on school buses,” Harding says.

One guardian whose two children were involved in Wednesday’s crash in Anna says that the seat belts would have helped.

"I believe seat belts would have made less injuries because it was said that one of the little girls in the bus was flipped over two seats," guardian Fredrico Wells said.

In September 2011, Texas Law will require all charter buses carrying children to have seat belts as well, so kids can buckle up for a safer ride.

These new laws taking place in the next couple of years are not retroactive. Seat belts will only be mandatory for school buses purchased after 2010. The source of funding for the law has not yet been determined.

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  • by kw on Nov 23, 2008 at 02:10 AM
    sounds like someone needs a hug...corrections officer
  • by boooooo!!! on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:46 AM
    Corrections Officer: If this was the Keith Olberman show you would get the "grayson county world's worse Person of the day AWARD!"
  • by Jess on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:37 AM
    I agree with Corrections officer to a point. Kids bounce all over a bus and putting in seat belts will ONLY work if the kids actually use them. How many of your parents have to tell your kids to put on your seat belt, sit down, be quiet, etc? Bus drivers have to do this, ONLY WITH 30 OR MORE KIDS!!!! Jeff, your kids may listen to you but what about the other kids who don't listen and are on the same bus?? I remember my bus driver having to kick several students off the bus because they will NOT LISTEN to him. And with my old school, once you are kicked off of one bus, you can't switch to another. It's now your parent's responsibility to get you to school because you can't behave yourself. I suppose it's going to be the driver's fault whenever the kids don't wear the seat belts provided, right?
  • by jeff t Location: denison on Nov 21, 2008 at 10:13 AM
    corrections officer you are an idiot!!!do you even have kids?sounds like you really get off on teaching people respect!!i have two kids who are teenagers and they know respect!!!i've never had to force it upon them to respect other people!!!they ride a denison school bus to and from school and if they are told to wear a seatbelt they have no problem with it!!!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 21, 2008 at 09:07 AM
    KXII>>>>>>>>>> correction office needs to see all posts addrssed to him
  • by Pro Location: Sherman on Nov 21, 2008 at 08:55 AM
    Corrections Officer: You are the typical hard headed moron that is commonly employed at the Grayson County Jail. People learn respec while in jail??? The single most asinine statement i have read on this site... You think those guys respec you? HA! How is considering the safety of children related to the GC Jail at all? Maybe if you would educate yourself and stop making comments connecting seat belts on a bus to your job, which is low lifes watching low lifes, then maybe you could a REAL job in law enforcement and not one that is just barely above minimum wage.. the pay fits the workers... Get a clue. You are delusional and your arguement as NO merit.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 21, 2008 at 08:51 AM
    Please tell many you have taught respect to. I agree with you though most kids have a parent or parents who just don't care or are too busy trying to keep food on the tsble and a roof over the family's head.
  • by Corrections Officer Location: Sherman on Nov 20, 2008 at 05:30 PM
    SEATBELTS.....LOL......Like they would wear them..ha.....just one more thing the school system has to control when there is no control of kids nowadays...maybe if they ban them from riding the bus when they won't wear the seatbelt and let the parents take the responsibility of getting the kid to school..(eye opener)..because there is no control with kids today....the blame is on the parents for the childs actions...monkey see, monkey starts at home people..stop making the schools have to control your have no respect for their teachers or anyone else, I see how they turn out in jail everyday...they shouldn't have to wait until their in jail to learn respect..and oh yes they learn it real quick there, I'm proud to say that the law still allows us to keep them in line, unlike the schools...if they learn it early we won't have to teach them later.
  • by Concerned citizen Location: North Texas on Nov 20, 2008 at 04:38 PM
    How are seat belts going to help our students and children if we have three to a seaton school buses? Will there be a safety madate that states that only two per seat?
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