Seatbelts and school buses?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dougstrum, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    Not so, judging by the way that the typical driver with New Jersey plates drives - that I have seen, at least.

    Some times even the blind hog finds the cache of acorns.
  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 25, 2003
    Santa Barbara, California
    I drove school buses in NH...while I was in college! The local school bus contractor needed drivers, I applied, and they trained me. I had prior experience driving commercial
    vehicles so they trained me and I got the special extra certification on my license that allowed me to drive the big yellow Bluebird buses. My route included driving
    on some unpaved, very hilly, narrow roads in NH, sometimes in ice and snow. I remember coming down grades and skidding/sliding, praying I wouldn't drive it
    off the road, over an embankment, and down into trees.

    In my opinion school buses absolutely should have seat belts. If a school bus rolls over onto its side that will dramatically reduce injuries and mortalities. It doesn't happen
    often, but it definitely happens...especially in winter driving conditions.

    I drove K-12 kids, altogether on one bus. The elementary aged kids were obedient for the most part. The high school kids were "too cool for school" so they tended to be
    quiet in the back. The middle school kids gave me by far the most trouble. The worst kids I would make sit up in the "Angel Seat", the seat directly behind me, if they
    started acting up. One time I kicked a kid off the bus a few hundred yards before his house. I didn't get in any trouble for that but it was 1983.

    I once clipped the side of a car with the back bumper of the bus. The car was parked in a clearly marked school bus only zone, and it was really in my way when I was
    trying to pull into the bus stop. That's the only car accident I've had in my whole life. I felt terrible-- really ripped down the side of the car and took out its side
    view mirror, with the driver sitting in it. I radio'ed my boss, he drove right over, then he chewed out the car owner and told me not to worry about it and continue on
    my route.

    One of the sweetest things that happened is that when I had to quit (because of changes in my class schedule) the kids all made a giant farewell card for me with all kinds
    of sweet notes on it saying how I was their favorite bus driver, etc., etc. I think they just liked me because I was young and wasn't all grumpy and jaded yet.

    We all wear seatbelts on planes, but how much safety do we actually get from them? They won't help us in a crash, usually. We all just end up as little piles of goo.
    Their main function is to protect us from turbulence. But how many people are actually protected? I found this on-line:

    According to a 2013 article from Business Insider, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at the Federal Aviation Administration
    repeated that around 58 passengers are injured annually in the United States due to not wearing seat belts when planes hit turbulence.

    In the same article, pilots were interviewed and in their entire careers they could only cite one or two occasions where a flight attendant actually got injured
    because they were pitched about by unexpected turbulence. So it happens, but it is relatively rare.

    I also found this on line:

    Injuries From School Bus Accidents
    Roughly 17,000 children under the age of 19 visit emergency rooms each year for injuries associated with school buses, according to School Transportation News.Nov 13, 2019

    I suggest that without seatbelts on aircraft perhaps the number of injuries would be higher, but still likely much less than 17,000. Why? Because turbulence is common, but
    the kind of severe turbulence that would actually throw someone up in the air or to the side is extremely rare. In most turbulence passengers could hold themselves in place
    just by grabbing an arm rest and bracing their feet under the seat in front of them, actually.

    Conversely, if we had seat belts on school buses
    the injury rate would probably be very significantly reduced from 17,000 to a much lower number.
    imwjl and boris bubbanov like this.
  4. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jun 3, 2016
    Chicago, Illinois
    A couple years ago my kids’ bus got seat belts.
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    This is an excellent post, Chris..........

    ........but the way kids are, maybe 1,000 will hurt themselves just buckling the belt. Kids being kids, they will find ways to get hurt.

    Some times I wonder if kids stay on garde, with a sense of trepidation when not wearing a belt in a moving vehicle. If we "assure greater safety" by belting them, they will need something else to distract them.

    I lived in a lot of different school districts, and maybe rode a bus 30% or less of the time K-11 (graduated after Junior year) and my recollection was, a school bus was a great place to stage a fistfight or hurt somebody or get hurt trying. Lots of stupid stuff. I can think of numerous instances where I would definitely not have wanted to be trying to get my seat belt off while some kid was delivering a bunch of surprise punches to me. I guess kids aren't allowed to do this sort of thing anymore.
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  6. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Everybody knows there’s an allowable # of injuries and death out of the millions of kids that ride buses every year.

    Over that number ? The voices rise.

    I don’t know what that number is, but we must not reach it that often because the vast, vast majority of buses still don’t have them.

    And that’s with the crazy yoga momfia running most influential, well-to-do, helicopter-y school districts.
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