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How safe are the school buses in your area?

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  • How safe are the school buses in your area?

    Here in India accidents related to school buses are very common nowadays. Every day we can see some sad news related to this. There can be a lot of factors behind this. The first and foremost one is inexperienced drivers. As per law a driver should have an experience of minimum 10 years before driving a school bus. But in the present scenario where education is considered as a mere money making business, the school authorities hardly give any attention to this. The law also insists that every school bus should have a helper inside the bus to take care of the child while getting in and out of the bus. In most of the cases this is not ensured.

    We as parents cannot escape from our responsibilities. Before taking admission in any schools we should inquire about the transportation facility and ensure that it is safe.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, the data suggests that India's roads are the deadliest in the world. The World Bank estimates that more 200,000 people die on India's roads on an annual basis - this amounts to 550 people per day! This number equates to 15 percent of all global road fatalities despite India only owning 1 percent of all motor vehicles on the road. In 2013, the latest numbers available, 238,562 people were killed in road traffic accidents.

    The penalty for reckless driving involving the death of a child was lowered earlier this year to a $780 fine and a one-year prison term.

    More can be read here.

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    • #3
      I always thought that buses should contain seat belts for the children. I remember how kids used to jump up and run around on the bus as it was moving when I was a kid. That God no one ever got hurt, but there was always that risk. Children should be contained in a seat belt for their safety on any sort of transportation. Even city buses should have them. However.... that is a feature no one thinks is necessary.
      Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
      Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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      • #4
        We don't have school buses here, at least not for the upper education facilities. Kindergardens have a lot of buses that transport children daily, and I didn't see anyone complaining about the drivers or the facilities. India seems like it's in a rough spot in terms of transportation, and inexperienced drivers might just be the issue here.

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        • #5
          When I was still a student, I remember how I complain that my parents dont want to subscribe me to a school bus service. They make me commute on my way to school or they drive me to school. I just realize why my parents rather see he commute that ride a school bus. They never let me have the school bus service because it's for my own good.

          Sometimes it is not the inexperienced driver that should be blamed from these accidents. The school bus services owners sometimes uses sub par vehicles as school buses because they were much more cheaper and affordable despite of all the risks.

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          • #6
            School buses are fairly safe here in the UK. Drivers have to have the appropriate passenger vehicle licence and are subject to police checks before commencing employment. Buses are well maintained and relatively modern. The buses and drivers are generally supplied by the local authority though, rather than the schools themselves, so there is much less pressure on their budgets.

            In India though, it's probably a combination of unroadworthy vehicles and unsuitable driving surfaces.

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            • #7
              "Over 50 children were injured after a school bus met with an accident in Tamil Nadu's Perambalur district on Thursday." as recently as July 16.
              I just googled up the recent news over school bus accident deaths in India.
              Many a local dailies say bus owners take in drug addicts as well for driving.imagine if the driver is under influence of alcohol what can happen to people on board.
              Cops need to go more strict on drunk driving,that being the major cause fore recklessness as well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KimberlyD View Post
                I always thought that buses should contain seat belts for the children. I remember how kids used to jump up and run around on the bus as it was moving when I was a kid. That God no one ever got hurt, but there was always that risk. Children should be contained in a seat belt for their safety on any sort of transportation. Even city buses should have them. However.... that is a feature no one thinks is necessary.
                I was interested to learn that recent studies by the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) have indicated that adding seat belts to school buses would not add to the safety of school bus passengers. The study concluded that "there is insufficient reason for a Federal mandate for seat belts on large school buses."

                This article provides some additional insight as to why adding seat belts would not increase the safety of its passengers:

                The explanation for the safety of school buses is explained by a concept called compartmentalization. In compartmentalization, the seats on the school bus are placed very close to each other and have high backs that are very padded. As a result, in an accident the student would be propelled forward a very short distance into a padded seatback that in a way is like an early version of an airbag. In addition, the fact that people sit high off the ground in school buses also adds to the safety, as the impact location with an automobile would occur beneath the seats.

                While school buses and highway buses both feature high backed seats and elevated seating locations, the same cannot be said of city buses. In fact, the transverse seats - the seats that are parallel to the side of the buses - do not have any protection in terms of seats in front of them that can absorb an impact.

                And, while the near universal trend of purchasing low-floor buses makes it much easier for passengers, particularly elderly and disabled passengers, to get on and off the bus, it also means that in the event of a crash the other vehicle could end up in the seating area.
                In addition to the findings, the significant cost issue is another prevailing factor. It is estimated that installing seatbelts to school buses would add anywhere between $8,000 and 15,000 to the cost of each bus.

                In addition, seatbelts would take up room currently used as seats, meaning that each bus would have fewer seating places. The additional room in the bus taken up by seatbelts would mean that bus fleets would have to increase by as much as 15% just to carry the same number of people. Such an increase would be especially difficult in cities that experience overcrowding on their transit vehicles.

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                • #9
                  So in other words, money is more important then child safety in these matters. As they say, money talks. However, their assessment is BS. They only way to push the idea through is that parents around the US and those that support the idea were to push for it to happen.
                  Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                  Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                  • #10
                    We don't have a lot of school buses in Mexico, so I haven't heard about accidents on those buses. The kids usually go on regular buses and they are pretty safe...for the passengers. Last year a 17 year old girl was run over and killed by a bus, because the driver was going too fast and the bus crashed with the bus stop... And unfortunately those bus accidents are pretty common on my city.

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                    • #11
                      We have school services here in the Philippines. I do see that they follow the rule for one helper inside to help the children in getting in and out of the van or coaster. I just am not sure about the 10 years experience for the driver. Luckily though, I have not heard any accidents involving school services in a few years.

                      However, some children's school service here is a tricycle. Often, I see the tricycle overloaded with 4 kids inside and another 3 on the motorcycle plus another 1 or 2 hanging on the back or side of the tricycle. I think this is such a dangerous practice.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KimberlyD View Post
                        So in other words, money is more important then child safety in these matters. As they say, money talks. However, their assessment is BS. They only way to push the idea through is that parents around the US and those that support the idea were to push for it to happen.
                        In reading through multiple studies, not just those conducted by the NHTSA, evidence certainly suggests that there is no added safety benefit of installing seat belts on school buses. As such, it wouldn't make any sense to spend upwards of $117 million per state when it wouldn't improve safety.

                        This paragraph below provides some further clarification.

                        If cars have seat belts, why aren't they generally required in school buses? Because modern school buses are already remarkably safe, and because seat belts don't work the same way in buses as they do cars, research shows.

                        Numerous federal and academic studies have concluded that school buses are the safest form of ground transportation of all, in fact. The National Safety Council says they're about 40 times safer than the family car.

                        About 440,000 public school buses carry 24 million children more than 4.3 billion miles a year, but only about six children die each year in bus accidents, according to annual statistics compiled the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 800 children, by contrast, die every year walking, biking or being driven to school in cars or other passenger vehicles, said Ron Medford, the agency's deputy director.
                        To get back to the original posters question, fortunately, school buses in the US are incredibly safe, especially in comparison to other modes of transportation, and the rest of the world. I was interested to learn that buses accidents account for just 0.6% of all total accidents in the U.S.

                        Unfortunately, although low and middle-income countries are home to less than 50% of the world's registered vehicles, 90% of the world's road traffic deaths occur in developing countries. This helps to explain why countries such as India, Thailand, Namibia etc are most prone to school bus accidents.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KimberlyD View Post
                          I always thought that buses should contain seat belts for the children. I remember how kids used to jump up and run around on the bus as it was moving when I was a kid. That God no one ever got hurt, but there was always that risk. Children should be contained in a seat belt for their safety on any sort of transportation. Even city buses should have them. However.... that is a feature no one thinks is necessary.
                          Put kids in seatbelts, and what happens if the bus catches fire while rolled over, or crashes into a river and is sinking. Kids stuck in seatbelts. Who helps them? The bus driver?
                          The belief is that during frontal or rear impact, the most common types of wrecks involving school buses, passengers would either be pushed back into their seats or thrown forward into the padded backs of the row ahead.

                          It is also feared that some students would receive internal injuries from seat belts through a process called submarining, the tendency for a body to slide downwards during impact.That being a concept where in if you travel in a compartment like structure you are on loose seats and thus will slide down during an impact.
                          dillinger10 likes this.

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                          • #14
                            Have you ever seen a bus accident? I have.... believe you me.... they need seat belts. I have seen people injured in a bus accident that could have been avoided if they were wearing a seat belt.
                            Where there is an beginning, there is an end.
                            Where there is an end, there is a new beginning.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bala View Post

                              Put kids in seatbelts, and what happens if the bus catches fire while rolled over, or crashes into a river and is sinking. Kids stuck in seatbelts. Who helps them? The bus driver?
                              The belief is that during frontal or rear impact, the most common types of wrecks involving school buses, passengers would either be pushed back into their seats or thrown forward into the padded backs of the row ahead.

                              It is also feared that some students would receive internal injuries from seat belts through a process called submarining, the tendency for a body to slide downwards during impact.That being a concept where in if you travel in a compartment like structure you are on loose seats and thus will slide down during an impact.
                              Excellent points, bala I have read these same concerns in a number of research studies also. The potential for children panicking at being unable to escape from their seatbelts is high on the list of external concerns.

                              This letter from a school bus driver also hits on the point you raise about the impracticability for drivers ensuring that young children remain buckled up for the duration of the ride or even the ability to unbuckle them in the case of a fire.

                              These studies have been taking place since the mid-1980s and almost all of them have reached the same conclusion, seatbelts on school buses do not increase safety and can potentially increase exit time in emergencies, thereby increasing the possibility of higher accident and mortality rates.
                              Last edited by dillinger10; 08-02-2015, 07:44 PM.

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