Are there seat belts on your children’s school buses?
Do you remember the days before seat belt use was required? While seat belts were invented more than a century ago, California drivers and passengers were not required to use them until 1986.
Seat belts laws for California school buses
Most parents wouldn’t dream of going for a drive without first buckling in their children. However, hundreds of thousands of children still ride to and from school in buses that don’t have seat belts.
Why don’t many school buses have seat belts?
California is one of just six states that require seat belts on school buses. Unfortunately, many of the state’s school buses were built before seat belts were required, and there is no requirement to retrofit buses built prior to July 1, 2005. It boils down to cost: A new bus costs approximately $200,000, and upgrading an older bus can cost as much as $20,000 per bus.
Even if the state were to spend millions of dollars retrofitting or replacing school buses, many people wonder how many children would actually wear them. Who would enforce seat belt use on the buses?
How safe are school buses?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that buses are one of the safest means of transportation for children because they are designed to keep kids safe. Fewer than 10 drivers and passengers die each year in school bus crashes, but one death is still one too many.
Regardless of how a bus is designed or whether it has seat belts, if your child is injured in a bus accident, you still have a right to pursue compensation for your losses.