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School Buses in General Don’t Use Seatbelts in Many States

School Buses in General Don’t Use Seatbelts in Many States

Did you ever wonder as a kid why you had to buckle up religiously when entering a car but not every day on the way to school? It’s a common question that comes with both a relatively easy and simple answer and one that’s a bit more complex. The issue is one with a long history and a number of proponents on either side of the debate.

The shorter, simpler answer is that buses don’t need them. There were high-profile bus accidents which killed students but these are in the minority. Statistically, bus accidents result in fewer fatalities per mile traveled than regular cars. In some cases, school buses actually have seat belts but the students are not required to wear them.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA does not require the use of seatbelts in buses weighing over five tons. While there is a requirement for smaller buses, the decision for the larger ones is left to the states. As of yet, only six states, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas require some use of seat belts on large buses. In some cases, this is only on newer buses.

And Some Complicating Factors

The more complex answer is a bit longer but comes to a similar conclusion. Many parts of a school bus are intentionally designed safer for all involved. This includes larger, padded seats to avoid blunt-force trauma. The sheer weight of the vehicle also reduces the chance of serious injury.

Furthermore, these is an issue of cost. Statistically, wearing a seat belt is not nearly as likely to save a life for young people on a bus. The sheer cost of retrofitting every existing bus with seat belts would be a monumental task. Even when it comes to the safety of children, there are some costs that legislatures don’t want to take on. For the time being, seat belts won’t be worn on most school buses.

Woman Killed in Sports Club L.A. Parking Structure Identified

Woman Killed in Sports Club L.A. Parking Structure Identified

April 27, 2011 – According to reports the woman whose vehicle fell from the fourth story of the Sports Club L.A. has been identified.

The woman killed when her vehicle plunged from the fourth story of the parking structure located at Sepulveda Boulevard and Nebraska Avenue at approximately 9: 50 a.m. Tuesday has been identified as 75 year old Maris Cherry.

The cause of the LA Sports Club parking lot accident remains under investigation according to authorities after the woman was killed when her 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan broke through a barrier on the fourth floor of the parking structure leaving the concrete slab partially in attached.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department officials Cherry was found in the SUV that landed on its roof in her seat.

Why Federal Regulators Ordered Bus Company to Stop Operation

Why Federal Regulators Ordered Bus Company to Stop Operation

We are fierce proponents of common carriers (defined here) regulating themselves. A cost for this, a license for that. By the time your done, there is no money left. Unfortunately, the rising prices of gas and regulations, make it very hard to turn a profit. So companies cut corners to stay in business. Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have ordered a tour bus operator to cease operations immediately, after being involved in a Southern California crash.

The Crashes

The crash involving Scapadas Magicas L.L.C. based in National City California (learn more), was involved in a crash in Southern California resulting in the deaths of eight people. Friday Federal regulators ordered the company to stop operation of its three buses stating they pose an “imminent hazard” to the public.

In February 3, 1996 the bus crash (read here), the cause of the crash was questioned by investigators, when the driver said the brakes failed, prior to the bus hitting a sedan that flipped over, hitting a pickup truck east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains. The bus was in route to Tijuana Mexico at the time of the crash and was transporting 38 passengers and a tour guide.

Mechanical Violations

Friday regulators said the investigation of the company after the crash found that two other buses that were in operation within the United States had mechanical safety violations. The inspectors found the company had failed to have regular inspections for the buses prior to the crash, and when the vehicles were inspected they had multiple break issues and numerous other violations. There is no indication on what the inspections cost, but bus companies have to comply with all sorts of federal and state agencies, and the costs are enormous to keep all those regulatory agents employed.

According to the order to cease operations of the companies buses, there were maintenance violations cited during 21 of the latest 25 vehicle inspections, this equaled 36 percent of the buses being put out of service. Transportation regulators reviewed the company compliance in January, they found breakdowns had been identified and the company’s safety management systems. They determined Scapadas Magicas failed to take action in remedying the issues in safety management.

We have yet to hear the side of the bus company. It does appear that they cut corners. Should the government agencies streamline the regs, so bus companies can afford to comply? We hear stories of truckers using the trailer brakes and cheap retreads to cope with fuel costs and regs. Is this different?


People need to reconsider the causes and effects of the costs involved in complying with regulations, while at the same time, common carriers need to regulate themselves.

FedEx Big Rig Hits Charter Bus Carrying Students Head-on

FedEx Big Rig Hits Charter Bus Carrying Students Head-on

It looks like a case of clear liability, but at least one personal injury attorney at Ehline Law Firm PC thinks there is more to this case than meets the eyes. Attorney Michael Ehline says that a FedEx big rig truck struck a charter bus carrying Los Angeles, County school students head-on on I-5 in North California. He says there is not enough info to pin the blame 100% on FedEx or its trucker. According to the California Highway Patrol the tour bus collided with a FedEx tractor trailer truck and a Nissan Altima on the I-5 Freeway at approximately 5:40 p.m. in the vicinity of Orland, California when the big rig jumped a center median and struck the bus.

See the Glenn Tour Bus Crash Video:

The bus was carrying approximately 46 passengers at the time of the crash, when it caught on fire. At least nine people were killed in the collision and dozens more injured CHP said.
Seven students, the bus driver and FedEx driver were the nine people killed in the crash, with dozens of others injured CHP said. CHP officials said the bus belonged to Silverado Stages tour Bus Company based in San Luis Obispo.The research we have done indicated that there are mixed reviews about this company on Yelp (Read More), and that the company has a reputation for transporting students. The passengers on the bus included students and chaperones traveling to Humboldt State University for a college tour.

According to CHP officials the FedEx 18-wheeler was traveling southbound, when it crossed the center line hitting the bus head-on in the northbound lane. The authorities not have information how the Nissan Altima was involved in the crash or what caused the tractor trailer truck to go over the center divider. At this point, we do not have a history on the truck driver, or from FedEx on who they blame.

According to some reports by family members the students were from Los Angeles and Riverside area schools including Banning High School and Robert F. Kennedy High School. One parent stated her children attend Norte Vista high School in Riverside and boarded separate buses, with one child boarding the bus involved in the collision.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement, saying he and his wife extend their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passengers that died.

So at this point, we cannot 100% blame the FedEx truck and the Altima could have played a role in the wreck. We advise all of our viewers to thoroughly research any common carrier for hire when they ride, and that they also think about alternative forms of transport. In California and under federal law, there is no requirement that that buses even be equipped with seatbelts, so it is something to ponder. Our hearts also go out to the survivors.

NBC News:

Who is Legally Liable for the Tour Bus Crash? – Ehline law Firm PC:

Greyhound Bus Crashes in Arizona Injuring 23

Greyhound Bus Crashes in Arizona Injuring 23

Palo Verde Valley Bus reports Early Thursday morning a greyhound bus crashed near Tonopah, west of Phoenix, Arizona, injuring at least 23 people. The bus was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 at approximately 1:45 a.m. in the vicinity of Tonopah when the incident occurred, according to authorities.

See the Shocking Video Here:

The accident happened when the bus crossed into the median where it eventually came to a rest after the crash. According to authorities believe prior to the crash one of the passengers yelled “I’m gonna flip this bus” as the passenger was punching the bus driver in the head. This incident led to the bus crash, authorities said.

Greyhound said the bus was carrying 41 passengers at the time and twenty-three passengers were transported to area hospitals. They said that the other 18 passengers did not report any injuries and were not transported. The bus company said that two buses are transporting the unharmed passengers in the crash to their destination.