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Why Don't School Buses Have Seatbelts???


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We had a very serious school bus accident this morning. It happened at 8:30 this morning and they still have a portion of the highway closed down at 2:20 this afternoon. I drove thru the crossroad at the intersection and witnessed the wreckage; the two cars were completely demolished and both drivers were fatalities. 3 children were airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital, one had emergency surgery at a nearby hospital and some 20+ other children were injured. Busy, BUSY morning for paramedics and other EMT's.

 

Tedster may sometimes take this route home from work; if he's working today it's going to be a tough go of it getting through. Come rush hour traffic, the area is hellacious WITHOUT reasons for a slow down.

 

I have a 3:35 appointment at the Doctors' office in Liberty for both kids, which is accessed through the said intersection. I'll have to go 15 to 20 miles out of my way to avoid the area to try getting through; if the alternate route isn't completely conjested with detouring traffic.

 

A very sad day for a lot of parents; I'm sure.... and yesterday was Mother's Day. :cry: I said prayers for all those involved in this tragedy and also those who have lost a loved one. The driver of the buses was said to have been going approx. 60 mph in a 45 zone and failed to stop for a red light; as stated by folks that witnessed the accident. The driver was not injured. I'm awaiting to find out WHY the bus driver was speeding, and WHY they failed to stop for a red light. I don't have time to read all of the articles yet, because I just got in from having been caught up in the traffic earlier and I'll have to leave here again very soon to make the Dr appt.

 

Today's headlines....

http://www.kctv5.com/

 

Appears the story has gone to global levels...

 

http://www.kctv5.com/Global/story.asp?S=3318136

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

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Holy schmoly! I try to avoid that intersection (if they're talking HyVee, it must be 291 and 152) whenever possible. It's a nightmare. And this just reinforces that. Good grief. What a tragedy!

 

I normally don't go through that way, I get on I-35 north from 152 if I go that way. But, traffic anywhere there is crazy.

 

How tragic. I'm glad there weren't more fatalities... :(:( Just pray and think good thoughts for the kids who are in the hospital.

 

And, no, gladly I wasn't at work today. But, I do know people in Liberty. I hope and pray our friends' kids weren't among the injured.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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no seatbelts is only ONE reason I drive my kids to school (quality of the drivers, generally, is another, as well as the hour-plus each way it would add to their day -- takes me 11 minutes by car).

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What Fantastic said. It makes no sense to me either.

 

Very sad.

 

Some of you may remember the bus that was hit by the train several years ago near Chicago. One of the kids who was onboard is a client of a therapist friend of mine. The therapist told me that this kid normally rode in the back of the bus (the part that was hit), but on this particular day, the driver needed directions, and so he was up front.

 

It must have been a terrible experience.

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Good question. They don't have seatbelts in public busses, Greyhound busses, subways, Metrolink trains or Amtrack trains either. I guess the world is in too much of a hurry and then there's the added expense and all.

 

Steve

You shouldn't chase after the past or pin your hopes on the future.
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What I heard back in High School physics was that the momentum of a bus is so great (compared to a regular passenger car), that most impacts don't transfer quite as much apparent energy to the occupants. Speaking relatively, if the children had been in a smaller vehicle (without belts) several of those injuries might have been fatalities. We can, at least, thank God for that.

 

Of course, the effectiveness of this is reduced by speeding drivers and the ignorance of red lights. It's also a case of too few tragedies having occurred to warrant an investment. Bureaucracy stinks. :(

Grace, Peace, V, and Hz,

 

Danny

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I have been wondering that a long ago. If it is ticket worthy not to wear seatbelt when you go alone... why in the hell this buses with more than 15 children dont have seatbelts. I hope they learn the lesson.
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Some of you may remember the bus that was hit by the train several years ago near Chicago.
That's right by a musicstore I go to. Every time I go by that intersection I think about the accident, so many youg lives taken so quickly. Very sad
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Originally posted by Tedster:

Holy schmoly! I try to avoid that intersection (if they're talking HyVee, it must be 291 and 152) whenever possible. It's a nightmare. And this just reinforces that. Good grief. What a tragedy!

 

I normally don't go through that way, I get on I-35 north from 152 if I go that way. But, traffic anywhere there is crazy.

 

How tragic. I'm glad there weren't more fatalities... :(:( Just pray and think good thoughts for the kids who are in the hospital.

 

And, no, gladly I wasn't at work today. But, I do know people in Liberty. I hope and pray our friends' kids weren't among the injured.

Here is a a video http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/video/4468947/detail.html that shows a sketched recurrence of the path the vehicles took. The bus was barreling down Hwy 291 heading southbound, while the two vehicles that were crushed were actually sitting at a stop light headed eastbound on Hwy 152 (or Kansas St) The bus attempted to veer to the right as if to turn westbound onto Hwy 152, but instead hit a light pole and then went airborne across the westbound lanes of 152 and on into the eastbound lanes where the other two vehicles were side by side.

 

Man, in watching several of the videos provided by various news channels; they said one of the vehicles involved was an SUV. When I drove by the scene this afternoon I saw both vehicles and there was not enough of the SUV left for me to realize that it was an SUV. :eek: From the angle at which I passed, the red car looked like a crushed aluminum can from the nose end of the car on the drivers' side clear into the passenger seat and into the back seat; it looked like a monster had taken a bite out of the car with all the important parts surrounding the driver gone. There is absolutely NO WAY that either of the drivers involved in either passenger vehicle stood a chance; NONE!!! They had managed to get all of the vehicles off of the highways, and the EMT's had pretty well got all the kids transported by the time I passed the area. The bus was up by KFC and the other two vehicles were in the grass and on the corner still at the time. By the time I went back out to the Doctors' office there at Seaport, the bus had been removed and also the cars were gone.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

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Go to this link to watch the videos, http://www.kctv5.com/Global/category.asp?C=65410

 

Under the featured videos table, the video titled below gives a pretty descriptive recollection of what the witness saw happen.

 

Witness Describes Helping Kids

 

This video gives more description as to what happened, and this one gives some pretty graphic photos of the two vehicles that were demolished.

 

http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/video/4468656/detail.html#

 

These are more along the lines of what I saw of the cars when I drove by. I was heading northbound on 291, ready to turn westbound onto Hwy 152, but the traffic had been redirected to continue travel northbound on 291.

 

One of my closest friends that lives in Liberty had phoned me this morning and asked if I would mind picking her up at a car dealership very near to my place while joining her for breakfast. Had she not had car problems requiring maintenance; she would have been in the direct path of the accident at approximately the same time of occurance. She travels down southbound 291 coming from Glen Hendren Dr. heading into the city.

 

I just went to the funeral of another one of my closest friends on Saturday, learned that my soon to be 15 year old son had polyps on the inside of his colon along with erosive esohpogitis in his upper intestine (not yet informed as to the results of the biopsies).............

 

I'm certainly glad Susan changed my plans for the entire day by calling me before 07:00 am to spend some time together because I don't think I could handle another big loss right now. She was still with me when we drove past the wreckage. As she studied the surroundings, she said, "Oh my God, if I had been doing my normal routine this morning, I would have been RIGHT HERE at the same time all of this happened"

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

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From the Internet:

 

Rather than requiring seat belts, NHTSA decided that the best way to provide crash protection to passengers is through a concept called "compartmentalization." This requires that the interior of large buses provide occupant protection so that children are protected without the need to buckle-up. Occupant crash protection is provided by a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs. The effectiveness of compartmentalization has been confirmed in the NTSB and NAS studies.

 

School buses are heavier, experience less crash forces, and distribute crash forces differently than do passenger cars and light trucks. Because of this, the crash force experienced by the passengers of large buses is much less than that experienced by occupants of passenger cars, light trucks, or vans. Federal regulations require the installation of occupant restraints in motor vehicles based on the vehicle type and size. Because the safety record of school buses is outstanding, and because there is no compelling evidence to suggest that seat belts would provide even higher levels of occupant protection in crashes, NHTSA agrees with the NAS report that there is insufficient reason for a Federal mandate for seat belts on large school buses.

 

More:

The National Education Association and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have reached these conclusions:

 

Large school bus crash tests show that lap-belted kids are more likely to sustain serious head injuries by crashing into seats in front of them.

 

Shoulder belts cause problems because they can't be adjusted to safely restrain smaller children and slackness can cause injuries.

 

Bus drivers oppose belts, saying kids swing the heavy belt buckles as weapons. Drivers also say that unfastened belts would fly around and strike students in an accident, and that kids could be trapped by belts in emergencies.

 

The best way to protect school bus passengers is with strong, protective walls inside the bus and high-back seats made of soft, energy-absorbing materials to retain occupants.

 

Every year, about 394,000 public school buses travel some 4.3 billion miles to transport 23.5 million children. Since 1984, on the average, 11 passengers per year have died in school bus crashes.

 

School buses are heavier and receive far less force in a crash than do cars, light trucks and vans.

 

 

I did read that there are quite a number of school districts that have required seat belts on school buses.

There are two theories about arguing with a woman. Neither one works.
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Energy-absorbing seat backs? That must be what that exposed steel bar that runs across the top of the back of the seat at forehead level is. Well, that's when I was a kid, anyway, maybe they make them different now. I bet they don't.
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I did find it ironic that although the bus went airborne, out of 53 kids total on the bus only 5 suffered serious injuries; while only two of those 5 were listed as critical. There were no fatalities for the bus riders; only those two poor souls that were in the path of the bus that rolled upon impact.

 

No fatalities for bus passengers does say a bit about the difference in make up between a full sized bus and a passenger car.

You can take the man away from his music, but you can't take the music out of the man.

 

Books by Craig Anderton through Amazon

 

Sweetwater: Bruce Swedien\'s "Make Mine Music"

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I bet they don't.
Actually they do. I was on a newer bus yesterday (built 2 years ago) and the seats no langer have the exposed metal rod going across the back. They really are highly "cushioned" backs.

 

I teach at an elementary school. The "size" thing is a valid concern when it comes to seat belts on school buses. We have k thru 5th graders on the buses.

Lap belts by themselves can cause worse injuries than no belts. Besides slaming heads forward, internal injuries can happen with lap belts that aren't fitted properly.

 

 

Overall, with the exception of trains or truck running through a bus, there are surprisingly few serious injuries or deaths when modern school buses run into something.

David

Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by EscapeRocks:

Lap belts by themselves can cause worse injuries than no belts. ... internal injuries can happen with lap belts that aren't fitted properly.

Very true. About 10 or 12 years ago, on Route 15 on the way to Gettysburg, a police car pulled out in front of a family car. The road has access from side roads, its not a limited access highway, and a speed limit of 65. Anyway, the family car slammed into the side of the police car. Two little girls sitting in the back seat died from internal injuries sustained from their seatbelts.

 

Properly used seatbelts do save lives and reduce injuries. When I was active with the fire company, at every accident I worked, drivers and passengers wearing seatbelts were not hurt, and every one not wearing a seatbelt sustained injuries or death, with most injuries requiring ambulance transportation to a hospital.

 

Seatbelts should be worn tightly and as low as possible, resting across the pelvis and below the abdomen.

There are two theories about arguing with a woman. Neither one works.
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Gator,

 

I agree. I just don't see an effective way for so mnay differently sized kids to be belted properly on a large school bus. It would take forever for the bus to get anywhere if the driver had to try and adjust the seatbelts for the kids at every stop when they got on the bus.

 

 

As far as belt use in cars, I'm a firm believer. One of my side "gigs" is driving a pro stock car in NHRA competition. The harness has let me walk away from a rollover crash at 125mph, without a scratch. Sure, I was sore, but I was also alive.

David

Gig Rig:Depends on the day :thu:

 

 

 

 

 

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