This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.



n July, the Buffalo, N.Y., Public Schools fleet of buses will be America’s next to be completely equipped with three-point, lap/ shoulder seat belts. New York was the first state to mandate “seat belts,” the two-point lap variety, and high-back seat padding,

leaving it up to school districts to decide how and what to implement. Buffalo researched the pros and cons of two-point and three-point

belts before going with the latter, as well as on-board video cameras and other safety features in its contract with First Student. “Buffalo had foresight to bring safety to students and the whole

community. I think they have the right idea,” said Sean McCabe, area general manager of the contractor's western New York operations. Te district and First Student are running a 30-minute pilot train-

ing program for K-8 students, the target audience. Staff and parents also are learning about augmented bus safety. If students refuse to wear the restraints, they are individually counseled. Over five years it’s resulted in better student behavior and safe conditions in collisions.

“We’ve had some accidents, and the on-board camera showed

the riders were safe. Te lap/shoulder belts are really helpful in side impacts,” said Transportation Director Al Diamico. Buffalo transports more than 28,000 riders on 631 buses that cover 6 million miles a year. Tis milestone comes amid a quarter-century industry debate on occupant restraints vs. compartmentalization, driven by a patchwork of laws, technology and real-world best practices. “Tere’s a lot of policy out there. It’s one thing to say it, but

it’s another thing to do it. We preach it, and our community is involved,” Diamico said.

RESTRAINT CONSTRAINT Buffalo's decision, like at other districts, emerged from the ongoing

industry debate. Te discussion continues over the ultimate state of school bus safety in the U.S., and large buses are a sticking point. Since NHTSA published its study “Next Generation of Occupant

School Bus Regulation and Recommendations

NHTSA gives report to Congress & starts projects for next-generation school bus occupant protection systems.

Federal government halts funding for school bus seat belt research. NHTSA says its 2002 report is comprehensive enough to stand until future rulemaking.

NHTSA issues school bus crashworthiness report for occupant restraint systems.

NASDPTS releases position paper to guide states and industry on enhancing school bus safety.

All Type A school buses (≤10,000 lbs. GVWR) must have 3-point belts. NHTSA

denies a petition seeking a federal requirement for these lap/shoulder seat belts on large school buses.

First federal mandates and rules on 3-point belts for all Type A school buses by 2011. NHTSA issues guidelines for volunteer safety systems on large school buses and implements test procedures for three-point belts and compartmentalization.

NTSB releases findings on high-profile school bus crashes, sparking more industry debate on occupant restraint systems for large school buses.

NASDPTS revises its position paper for 3-point belts on large school buses.



2003 - 2004

1999 - 2001

2005 - 2006

2007 - 2008

2009- 2010

2011 2013 Today

Legislative Burst:

Florida law passed in 1999 to require all new school buses to have 2- point seat belts or federally approved restraint system.

New York & New Jersey already have school bus 2-point seat belt laws. More than 20 states have since introduced bills.

Louisiana requires 2-point seat belts on school buses.

Tech Burst: SafeGuard/IMMI installs first 3-point lap/shoulder belt systems on school buses for NHTSA evaluation. First production line Type A school bus with these seats is built by Girardin. IC Corp offers optional three- point belts of its design in 2005 CE Series.

California requires 3- point lap/shoulder seat belts on all new large school buses on July 1, 2005. The requirement for small buses went into effect one year earlier.

Differing 3-point and 2- point seat belt legislation spurs for small and large school buses in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.

Texas requires 3- point lap/shoulder belt systems on all new school buses, but the legislature fails to fund them. Louisiana has a similar dilemma with its 2-point seat belt law.

Industry collaboration leads to individual school districts in numerous states with 100% 3-point belts on both small and large school buses.

Real-world case studies are shared and compared.

Industry Action and Result

16 School Transportation News May 2014

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68