Beltless on the Bus!

This morning I watched a school bus full of children stop suddenly. Because it was a school bus, the kids were not wearing seat belts. Should this be changed? The National Transportation Safety Board has been considering this question carefully for the last 3 years. And the decision is not to recommend seat belts for school buses! Buses are already among the safest modes of transportation available. In the United States there are about 42,000 deaths in car accidents each year and only 9 in school buses. Of these, at least half are caused by the impact and would not be prevented with belts. The Board concluded that the most effective ways to improve bus safety further are arm rests and high-backed, closely-spaced, cushioned seats forming a padded cocoon to nestle the kids in place.

Published on: September 24, 1999
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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