This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Protection in School Buses,” three-point lap/shoulder belts became the preferred solution, federally mandated for Type A small buses and optional (with guidelines) for large buses, as of Oct.. 21, 2011. Six states require occupant restraint systems on large school buses:

California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Lo- cal school districts elsewhere may voluntarily require three-point belts on school buses over the 10,000-pound GVWR threshold. Inconsistency has resulted. California and Texas mandated three- point belts on large school buses after guidelines and technology were launched. California requires usage, but the Texas Legislature has yet to provide the funds school districts require. Florida, New Jersey and New York mandated “seat belts” before the introduction of federal guidelines and advanced seating technology, which resulted in hotly contested two-point lap belts as the on-board choice for large buses. Meanwhile, the Louisiana State Legislature has also failed to fund the state's law requiring two-point belts


NHTSA denied a 2011 petition seeking a federal requirement for lap/shoulder seat belts on large school buses. Trade organizations dis- agree whether things are spelled out well enough for large bus man- dates, leaving voluntary states and school districts a lot to consider. Several factors feed into the concern: safety value of two-point vs.

three-point belts; technical standards; large bus crash testing; com- partmentalization; equipment cost; rider capacity; liability; student behavior; and the concern that the belts may be used as weapons. Tere’s also considerable discussion about proper training for evacua-

tion, especially in a rollover and side-impact accidents. NASDPTS first released its position in 2002, and in February

revised it to fully support lap-shoulder belts in school buses. De- pending on local need and resources, NASDPTS encouraged states and districts to consider lap/shoulder belts for all buses. Te group also believes, not unanimously, in mandatory usage policies, along with necessary training. It’s working on sample policies and training programs for proper usage and evacuation. “A number of very respected industry individuals think our paper

will be the go-to document that finally turns the tide on this debate,” said NASDPTS President Max Christensen. “Whether the paper will actually tip the balance in favor of lap/shoulder belts remains to be seen.” NAPT and NSTA have jointly gone on record in opposition, pointing to recent NTSB crash reports, and the fact that there is no NHTSA requirement for safety belts in large school buses. Tey fear confusion of conflicting policy between two federal safety agen- cies, which could lead to counter-productivity in improving safety. “It’s imperative that the federal government do the necessary re-

search before we move forward with any mandatory change. We’ve been saying for a very long time that research is imperative. To our knowledge, it hasn’t been conducted yet,” said NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin.

REAL-WORLD DISRUPTION School districts are answering the questions with real-world

experience. Te challenges for Pam McDonald, director of transpor- tation at Orange (Calif.) Unified School District, involve parents and

Certifi ed Seat Covers and Foam | Car Seats | Evacuation and Fire Blankets

Distributors For: E-Z-ON: Safety Vests, Cam Harnesses BESI: Pro Tech lll, Universal Vest, Over the Shoulder Harnesses SURE-LOK Q’STRAINT


1.800.543.0575 | | 10939B Reed Hartman Hwy. • Cincinnati, OH 45242 17

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