Monday, May 09, 2005

Seat Belt Laws

For a long time I resented the idea of being told I had to wear a seat belt because it was the law, now I wear one any time I'm in a moving motor vehicle. It's not really because I feel they save lives (in some cases they do) I wear mine because of one of the Grand Kids, when she was about five years old she always ask why she had to wear one and I didn't. I decided it was easier to put it on than argue with a five year old, she's good at arguing, she's now 13 and says she wants to be an attorney when she grows up. After a while it became automatic, I put it on rather she was with me or not.

This morning I read about a traffic accident that took place in Liberty, Missouri involving a school bus loaded with children and two cars. ( Link might require free registration) Two people in the cars were killed and ten children were hospitalized for various injuries.

At first I was surprised by the fact that this article doesn't say if the people that were killed in the cars were wearing their seat belts or not. As a rule around here that is pointed out any time you read about a traffic accident, you could slam head on into a tractor trailer at 100 MPH and the article would read , the driver of the car died on impact, he or she was not wearing a seat belt at the time.

My wife reminded me of the fact that school buses are not equipped with seat belts. I think that is meant to save the bus company money. I'm not sure how many seats are on a school bus any more but two or three seat belts per each bench seat would equal quite a bit of money I'm sure. If I have one of the Grand Kids in the car that is not wearing a seat belt and come upon a police check point I will find myself facing a rather large fine. Bus companies on the other hand can pack a large number of kids into a school bus that isn't equipped with seat belts. I'm thinking something needs to be looked into here. I feel that somewhere in that article it should have said, the bus company was cited for not having the children in proper seat restraints.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

Often, the excuse given for no seatbelts on buses is the extended back of the seats. The theory is that the higher back will prevent kids from flying all over the place in an accident.
Personally, I think you hit it more accurately when you refer to the costs of including the belts. The company that makes the bus just wants to cut costs. However, if the issue is safety or following the rule of law, buses shouldn't be any more exempt than any other moving automobile.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Good post friend. I have often wondered myself why school buses do not include seat belts on the bus. It's interesting that car makers have to and we must use them but the buses and cities don't. More of those double standards that are getting so common.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Not to be off topic, but my friend Jim over at Thinking Right is in the hospital on life support. I want everyone, no matter their political views, to pray for his wellbeing. You can leave a message or a prayer at his website:

Thank you sincerely.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

What? A conservative wanting to infringe on how to raise children? Conservatives want to tell people what to do way more than liberals.

I agree with Ken here to an extent. But, I'm not sure it has anything to do with money. I would imagine adding 65 seat belts would be fairly cheap. I think the tall seats are much more safe.

If there was a fire on the bus and a kid was stuck in his/her seatbelt, I wonder what the argument would be then.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Children's Courtyard buses in Austin have seatbelts in them and they will not go until everyone is buckled up. Around here the school buses are not owned by the city. Durham Transportation owns the buses and drives the routes. I do not believe there are seatbelts in the buses in Austin.

9:08 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

I'm sorry if I lead someone to believe I wanted to tell someone how to raise their children. My Grand Kids wear seat belts when they are with me because of a law that was signed by a Gov. that was known to be a liberal. I still feel one of the reasons they are notrequired on buses is to save money. I also question why I can be fined for having one person in a vehicle without a seat belt but bus companies are not required to abide by the law.

God Bless America, God save The Republic

10:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Anchen said...

I am from Bangalore, India. My friend's mother was hospitalised with extensive knee cap surgery because the bus she was travelling in braked suddenly and she smashed into the bar in front of her. In India no buses have seat belts, whether they are for public transport, school buses or even long distance tourist buses.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the kneecap damage one kid could do to another swinging that buckle around? How would you enforce all the kids buckling up, and what kind of time would that add to the bus trips? Also, no public transportation has seatbelts, meaning buses and streetcars. Does Amtrak?
It isn't just the money, the logistics of enforcing their use, coupled to damage done by using the belts as weapons would make this a nightmare. Maintenance of the belting system would also cost a lot of money.
Bet not many kids die in buses every year, it is a calculated risk leaving them off.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

Seatbelts do not make school buses safer. Overall, travel on a school bus is the safest way to travel. Even the elderly residents of have a field trip they resist seatbelts for buses.

1:29 AM  

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