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No seat belts on many school buses, so what's holding us back?

No seat belts on many school buses, so what's holding us back? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) clearly states that school buses remain the safest way to transport children to and from school.

Still, NHTSA statistics reveal an average of 6 children die, while thousands are injured riding on those buses each year.

Two years ago, then-NHTSA administrator, Mark Rosekind announced NHTSA recommended installing seat belts on school buses across the country.

Yet, today, seat belts are still not required or installed on the vast majority of school buses across the nation and here in the Tri-State.

Local 12’s Duane Pohlman investigates “What’s Holding Us Back?”


The following is a statement from the NHTSA:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that seat belts save lives. The agency is working with officials from jurisdictions that are using seat belts on school buses to learn ways to deal with costs and other factors.

The following is a statement from Cincinnati Public Schools:

Cincinnati Public Schools supports improved safety for our students. Our concern with legislation requiring seat belts is whether money would be provided to pay for the upgrades. We've heard estimates of $35,000 per bus to retrofit seats with seat belts. This cost would be passed on to CPS when we renegotiate the contract with our bus vendors. Cincinnati Public Schools currently is in the first year of a five-year contract with four bus vendors. CPS provides transportation service to 124 schools (CPS, charter, and private) within the district's 91 square miles via about 350 yellow school buses that cover 1,275 routes daily, carrying 12,000 elementary students.

The following are some related statistics:

  • From 2006 to 2015, 1,313 people of all ages were killed in school transportation-related crashes—an average of 131 fatalities per year.
  • From 2006 to 2015, there were 301 school-age children died in school transportation-related crashes: 54 were occupants of school transportation vehicles, 137 were occupants of other vehicles, 102 were pedestrians, and 8 were pedalcyclists.
  • More school-age pedestrians were killed from 6 to 7a.m., 7 to 8 a.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. than any other hours of the day.
  • Thirty- five (34%) of school-age pedestrians killed in school transportation-related crashes from 2006 to 2015 were between 8 and 13 years old.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes were struck by school buses or vehicles functioning as school buses (2006 to 2015).
  • Among school-age child occupants killed in school transportation-related crashes, almost three times more died in other vehicles (137), than school transportation vehicles (54).
  • Among the 113 occupants killed in school transportation vehicles, 49 were drivers and 64 were passengers.
  • Impacts to the front of school transportation vehicles occurred in 45 percent of fatal school transportation-related crashes.

You can find additional information by following this link.

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