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Why are there no seatbelts on school buses? Was it always like that?

asked Sep 07 '10 at 22:58

Craighton's gravatar image

Craighton ♦♦

edited Feb 11 '12 at 12:24

nitrocrime's gravatar image



I have been a school bus driver for 13 years. I have 62 children on my bus. Imagine trying to cut all those seat belts in an accident. If the bus is on it's side, how will they get to the escape hatches? If the doors are blocked, hopefully I am not injured so I can cut their belts. The children are much more safe with the padded seats, and no belts. Originally the seats were to be 'compartments' complete with side panels. That did not come to fruition, for whatever the reason.

Over and above the safety factor, we would need to hire additional adults to check compliance and to prevent any impropriety and to keep unruly kids from using them as weapons. So there is cost involved. Also, injuries from wearing belts would most likely be worse due to the type of vehicle and impact.

This is a large, slow moving solid vehicle. It is also one of the safest methods of travel. Seat belts would greatly hinder the safety of the children.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:15

y0himba's gravatar image


edited Sep 07 '10 at 23:17


Great answer! I think people should think more about safety for the answer instead of money!

(Sep 07 '10 at 23:21) Madison Tries Madison%20Tries's gravatar image

totally agree. by the way seatbelts are the least of your worries from first hand passenger experience id be more worried about shattered glass from the side windows. I was in a bus that was passing another bus on a blind bend (high hedges) in winter and the road was icy. The bus i was in was on the outside of the bend the one coming towards on the other side of the road was on the inside of the bend and it skided accross the road in the icy and smashed out all the windows on one side of the bus and alot of people on the got cuts to their faces from the glass that flew across the bus but noone was seriously hurt and only 1 person fell off their seat but wasbt seriously hurt. On the point about the driver being injured the bus driver on our bus hurt his wrists on the steering wheel during the collision and wouldn't of been able to cut people from seatbelts if there had been any fitted in the bus. Sorry if my comment was too graphic.

(Sep 08 '10 at 00:08) GrahamAlanJones GrahamAlanJones's gravatar image

It is an educated answer from someone with real knowledge on the subject,but I can't help wonder would these children be still alive today if they wore belts. Lisa Callan (15), Claire McCluskey (18), Deirdre Scanlon (17) - all from the Beauparc area of Navan, Ireland - as well as Amy McCabe (15) from Hayestown, Navan and Sinead Ledwidge (15) from Senchalstown, Navan. That's not to mention the 15 children that died from China's eastern province of Jiangsu. There is a case not to ware seat belts, but I would prefer it if my children wore them.

(Feb 09 '12 at 22:30) JalnaGlobal JalnaGlobal's gravatar image

People thought that the bus being taller and heavier than most traffic and generally travel at moderate speeds that are slower than cars on the road, it wont change the velocity that quick upon impact and thought it was safe enough to not need seat belts.

Although some districts plans or implanted seat belts on school buses

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:01

kevin's gravatar image

kevin ♦♦

edited Sep 07 '10 at 23:03

My school district had seat-belts, but we did not have to wear them.

You really don't need them, you have cusiony seats to guard you.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:04

xforever1313's gravatar image


It's not that they're to cheap to buy seatbelts, it's that they're not necessary, that's what a bus driver told me many many years ago when I asked him this very same things. You have to compare it to a car, you are only required by law to wear a seatbelt while sitting in the front seat. Why just in the front seat? Because the main purpose of them is to stop you from flighting out of your sit and right out the window. If you're in the back seat, you aren't going to be flighting out of the window in a front end or back end crash because the seat will stop you, therefore, the seatbelt is not necessary. Same applies to the bus. The first seat, and maybe the second seat, always have seatbelts. But after that, they don't integrate them because as long as your sitting down you will be stopped from being flown forward or backwards by the seats themselves.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:13

Phoenix7's gravatar image


There are seat belts on some buses actually. One I ride on has some, but we never use them. Other then that I don't know.

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answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:06

Madison%20Tries's gravatar image

Madison Tries

There have been some really great answers on this about not needing them, so I won't repeat what other people have. I will say thought that some school buses do actually have seatbelts.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:50

TechJohnson's gravatar image


My school has buses with both seatbelts and no seatbelts. The one I ride on has half the seats with seatbelts and half the seats without them. Even though the seatbelts are there, students aren't required to use them.

answered Nov 16 '11 at 20:14

PCLinux7's gravatar image


No seatbelts?! In NYC we have seatbelts, but I guess the padded seats help too.

answered Feb 11 '12 at 12:06

DJ%20Scooby%20Doo's gravatar image

DJ Scooby Doo


I think the darned school districts are too cheap to buy seatbelts. I guess they don't value the lives of our children.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:06

ronknights's gravatar image



I think the darned school districts are too cheap to buy seatbelts. I guess they don't value the lives of our children.

answered Sep 07 '10 at 23:06

ronknights's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 07 '10 at 22:58

Seen: 4,053 times

Last updated: Feb 11 '12 at 12:24