8-24-04 – The Federal Government is looking into the safety of a nearly thirty year old design for school buses. In new crash tests, buses are shown to have some weaknesses in side impact and rollover accidents. Overall, however, buses are shown to be effective, especially in head on crashes.
The safety records of buses reinforce the government’s findings. Statistics show fewer than 10 children die in school bus accidents a year; while 8,000 children die in car accidents.
Some states are enacting new safety features. California requires all new buses to be equipped with lap belts; however it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to fit all school buses with lap shoulder belts. Many districts say budget restrictions keep them from installing lap belts.