Safety Groups Urge Virginia to Install Seat Belts on Buses

The National Coalition for School Bus Safety (the Large Yellow School Bus) is one of many safety organizations pushing to have seat belts installed on all busses in Virginia and across the nation. As Norfolk, Virginia accident attorneys we know all too well that children who are not properly restrained are often seriously injured during an accident. Seat belt installation is not the only safety initiative that the Large Yellow School Bus has backed. Here are some of the more important changes that the organization has worked to implement:

  • Sensors and alarms: These alarms sound when a child or object passes under or near the blind spots on a bus. In one year, 20 children were killed when they were run over by their own bus. Proper alarms and safety arms could prevent such tragedies. 
  • Strobe lights: Strobe lights, such as those used by police and other emergency personnel, can be used on buses' stop signs. The lights can be seen at a much greater distance, helping prevent vehicles from passing a bus as children load and unload.
  • Roof hatches: Though the Federal Government requires at least one roof hatch on all buses, at least 400,000 busses do not have one installed. In the event of a rollover a roof hatch can be crucial to quickly getting children off the bus.
  • Flame-retardant seat materials: Flame-retardant seat fabrics and padding can help slow the spread of flames on a school bus. However, only 1% of buses are built using the safer seat materials.
  • Black box recording devices: These devices can be used to record a bus's speed, driving distance, time traveled, and crash forces. They are standard in the trucking and aviation industry, but very few units have been installed on buses.

If research continues to show that seat belts and other safety measures would save lives and prevent injuries, we hope that school districts across Virginia and North Carolina take notice and start implementing the changes.

A serious school bus accident in Norfolk, while rare, does have the potential to seriously injure multiple children. If your child has been hurt during a school bus crash, you may have the right to sue for the injured child's medical bills and other losses. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced, aggressive attorney at Tavss Fletcher for your free consultation.