School buses need seat belts
We were devastated to hear about a school bus and a large work truck colliding on a highway north of Crossfield last week that sent nine people, including eight children, to hospital on Oct. 25. (See story on page 11).
In the newspaper business, we report on collisions nearly every week but for some reason it always hits us a little harder when there are children involved.
The cause of the accident had not been determined by police as of press time, but we can’t help but ask ourselves how many of those children could have left the bus unscathed or with less severe injuries if seat belts were mandatory in school buses?
This issue seems to come to the forefront every time children are involved in a crash in a bus but we think it is worth considering again.
If it is illegal for any resident to drive a child in their personal vehicle without a seat belt, why is it OK when up to 70 school-aged children are in a large vehicle together?
Most parents do everything in their power to keep their children safe, whether they are going for a ride in the car, crossing the street or playing outside but when children are of school age, mom and dad are forced to let go and leave their children in the hands of others. Shouldn’t we as a society, do everything in our power to protect them especially when the solution could be as easy and inexpensive as installing straps into a bus?
There are reports that seat belts can do more harm than good in some rare cases and school buses are designed to absorb the majority of energy in a crash, however, to us it seems clear that seat belts can only add to the safety of our children and should be mandatory in all school buses.