Group of Indiana lawmakers wants all school buses to have seat b - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Group of Indiana lawmakers wants all school buses to have seat belts

Posted: Updated:

A group of Indiana state lawmakers wants "seat belts" on all school buses across the state to make the drive to and from school safer for children.  

When your child steps onto a school bus at days end. Parents want to believe their child is safe and for the most part they are.  In fact only one third of one percent of all fatal crashes involve a school bus.

There are approximately 13,000 thousand school buses that take our children to and from school every weekday in Indiana.  3,330 of them are equipped with seat belts.  12,670 are not.

Last October this school bus hydroplaned and crashed in Clinton County.

"The bus driver said hold on.  She yelled hold on and we thought what is she talking about.  It started rolling and flipping and everyone was falling," said one student. 

Luckily all the injuries in this instance were minor. 

Then last March a bus from Lighthouse Charter slammed into a bridge abutment. 

The driver of the bus was killed along with one five year old passenger.  It started a debate over the need for seat belts for passengers on school buses.

"I think it's a great idea because so many of the children when they get on the school bus want to hop around from seat to seat and the bus driver cannot control everybody so I think it would be a great idea," said Shawn Smith, parent. 

There are companies that specialize in equipping school buses with seat belts.  They also have the data and the video to show why they may be needed but in this day and age that is not the only consideration.  

Estimates say it would cost anywhere from 10 to $15,000 a bus to make the changeover.  Over a hundred million dollars statewide.

Then there is another question.  Would the students actually use them.

"What do you think?  You ride the bus so what do you think if there would be a seat belt for you on there?  I think it would be better because sometimes we go over speed bumps and people bounce out of their seats so it would be better if we had seat belts.  Which kind of tells you about what would happen if you hit something because you would be?  Bouncing around like we always do," said Angel Wells, student. 

School safety whether in a bus or in school itself will be topic of nationwide debate.  Safety is always a priority but at what cost. 

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow