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Are Our Students Safe? Serious School Bus Injuries and Deaths

Monday, October 10, 2016By Richard Alexander

California is one of the nation’s leaders in school bus safety. For 15 years, our state has mandated seat belts in school buses transporting our most precious cargo—our children. Still, all these years later, many California school buses do not have this basic safety equipment.

Why? Older buses need not comply with the law. Only buses built after July 1, 2005 must contain the required belts.

California’s school bus seat belt law is the most stringent in the country. Only six states mandate school bus seat belts at all, and California is the only state that requires three-point belts rather than lap belts.

Both the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strongly advocate the widespread implementation of safety belts in school buses. While noting that school buses are the safest way for kids to get to school, the NHTSA Administrator has clearly stated his support for seat belts in school buses:

School buses should have seat belts. Period. It should be utterly uncontroversial—there is no question that seat belts offer improved safety. Seat belts will save the lives of children who we might otherwise lose in crashes. Seat belts provide the safety those kids deserve.

While it is true that newer school bus design incorporates compartmentalization—tightly spaced seating that restricts the movement of children’s bodies—seat belts add an additional, irreplaceable measure of security for our kids.

Other solutions are available, too. Using automated cameras to identify and ticket drivers who break the law by failing to stop for buses would help reduce one of the largest causes of school bus-related fatalities: students struck by passing cars at drop off and pick up.

Until seat belts are in place in every school bus in use and drivers become more responsible, injuries and deaths will occur in unnecessary accidents. Already this year, there have been two highly publicized crashes in our area: one on Petaluma Street involving a special needs school bus and another in Elk Grove.

The San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP will fervently work with you to procure all possible monetary compensation for you after your personal injury. Our goal is to help our clients receive proper compensation for their pain and suffering. You can reach one of our San Francisco personal injury attorneys at 888.777.1776. Alternatively, you can our online contact form and we will get back to you promptly.

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