Child Safety Restraint Systems on School Buses: When And Why
published on August 26, 2016 by Sonia Mastros
The subject of child safety restraint systems such as seat belts on school buses has been hotly debated for many years. Properly installed child safety restraint systems keep small children restrained in their seats during bus travel. They can come installed in school buses from the factory, or added to buses at a later time. Though there is no federal mandate, many individual school districts and states are choosing to install these safety tools on their buses. So, when and why, would you install safety restraint systems on your district’s buses?
There are valid reasons why some oppose safety restraints on school buses. Emergency evacuations and injuries from improperly fastened restraints top the list of cons. School bus safety advocates have also raised the concern that the extra load placed on seats with restraints installed would keep them from performing properly, in the event of a crash. No matter your view on child safety restraint systems, more and more states are requiring their installation on all school buses that transport small children.
Factors to Consider
School bus child safety restraint systems are best for transporting children who weigh no more than 50 pounds. Any safety product of this kind should meet Federal and State safety standards for motor vehicle equipment. Improper installation can reduce the effectiveness of a restraint system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a series of school bus safety videos that shows school bus drivers and monitors the steps to properly installing the various types of Child Passenger Safety Restraint Systems.
Installing child safety restraints may be indicated when regulations require them, or when transporting:
- Special needs students
- Head Start students
- Very young children, including preschoolers
- Children who require this accommodation as part of an IEP
Child safety restraints are just one of the many tools available to school districts that keep young children safe on their ride to and from school. To learn more about software solutions that can be paired with school bus safety hardware, contact the team of transportation specialists at BusBoss. We will help you to assess your current systems and find the right transportation software package for your district.
Has your school district installed child safety restraint systems on its bus fleet? Please share your experiences with us.