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Why Aren't Seatbelts Mandatory in School Buses?

What is the reason why seatbelts aren't mandatory on all school buses?

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School buses are the safest mode of transportation according to The National Highway Transportation Administration. They explained that school buses are built in a compartmentalization concept that allows its passengers to be safe inside. In this concept, buses have padded seats and back cushions that will absorb external impact from accidents. Since most of the accidents in this type of vehicle happen in front or rear, compartmentalization serves a great purpose.

An accident that involves a school bus in Alabama wherein four students died and a few others injured raised questions as to whether or not seatbelts should be mandatory in school transportations. Parents of the children in said bus filed legal complaint against the school, driver, and bus manufacturer. This event raises questions if seatbelts are necessary or not. Still, authorities strongly believe that installing seatbelts in school buses may pose more harm than safety.

One reason why seatbelts are not mandatory is that with this type of equipment, seats are needed to be firmer, thus eradicating the purpose of compartmentalization concept. Another reason for not installing seatbelts in school buses is that seatbelts may pose great risks in accidents that include fire or drowning wherein students cannot escape easily. Authorities also argue that older students can use seatbelts as a weapon if fights happen within the school bus, posing more risk for injuries.

Children have weaker abdominal muscles which mean that in strong impacts, seatbelts may injure vital organs in the body during impacts. Aside from that, having seatbelts as mandatory in school buses can be expensive for both private and government sectors.

Bus drivers may also face charges if this seatbelts are mandated ad one of the students is not using the said equipment. Since the driver is responsible for his passengers, it will definitely give him a hard time convincing students to follow instructions.

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