I always found it odd that buses, in particular school buses, were not required to have seat belts installed. But all of this may change as a proposed rule change by the NHTSA could make it a requirement that all new buses have seat belts installed. The law would not require existing buses to install seat belts since the cost is about $34k to retro fit a bus and make structural changes in addition to installing the belts themselves.

Riding the bus is a relatively safe way to get from point A to B, but a new proposal under consideration by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would seek to make it even safer by requiring new motorcoaches — as opposed to municipal or school buses — to provide seat belts for all passengers on board.

Over the last decade, fatalities in motorcoaches average 2.5 per 100 million passengers. NHTSA believes they can cut the number of deaths and injuries resulting from motorcoach rollovers by installing the lap and shoulder belts in all seats, but only on new coaches.

NHTSA is currently seeking public comment on the proposal until October 18, 2010.

I recalled a recent nasty accident in Missouri that involved two school buses crashing into a pickup. The result was a student dying as well as the driver of the pickup truck. I am not sure if all buses need seat belts, but I believe that school buses do need seat belts to protect the kids.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

At the link below they have provided the entire proposal in .pdf format.

Source – Consumerist