As summer comes to an end, issues surrounding the safety of school buses naturally enter the public consciousness. Back in March, a mini-school bus collided with a taxicab in Brooklyn, causing the bus full of children to flip over completely. Nine people were injured (including six minors), and bystanders rushed over to help the terrified children escape the overturned bus. The cab driver was cited for running a red light.
This accident highlights a major concern for parents in New York and across the country — the safety of their children as they ride to and from school each day on buses. The state requires that all buses manufactured after 1987 be built with seatbelts in them, although it does not mandate use of seatbelts on all school buses. Rather, this decision is left up to individual school districts. It’s important to note, however, that all children under four must ride in a car seat with a seatbelt on all New York school buses.
New York is like most states in avoiding an actual mandate for seatbelt use for school buses, as it can be extremely expensive for school districts and bus companies to implement them. Additionally, many transportation experts believe that school buses are extremely safe because of the high, padded seats, and the small amount of additional safety they provide is not worth the cost of implementing them.
Studies, including those conducted by the National Family Safety Council, have shown that students in school buses are less vulnerable to injuries than they would be in other automobiles. However, federal law does require seat belts for all small school buses.
If your child has suffered an injury in a school bus accident, contact a New York personal injury attorney with [ln::firm_name] right away.