Ga. lawmakers may require seat belts on buses

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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia lawmakers may consider requiring school buses to come equipped with seat belts in the wake of a bus crash that killed a 17-year-old Carroll County student.

State Rep. Terry England told the Athens Banner-Herald that several legislators have discussed a proposal after 17-year-old James Rashawn Walker died this month when his school bus ran into a ditch and overturned.

State education officials have not taken a position on seat belts on large buses.

Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said regulators are awaiting a three-year study by the University Transportation Center for Alabama on their effectiveness in reducing injuries before taking a stance.

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Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/18/10 - 08:53 am
0
0
They'd better figure out how

They'd better figure out how to do it within their current budget contraints. No new government spending!

I guess some school districts will have to cut out things like their Ritz Carlton retreats to pay for seat belts.

mable8
2
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mable8 10/18/10 - 08:56 am
0
0
So the demand is made "in the

So the demand is made "in the wake of a bus crash that killed..." Really, congressmen/women, we have been having deadly school bus crashes even before seat belts were first installed in private cars. As a matter of fact, there was considerable debate over installing these seat belts in school busses, but as congressional members and school board superintendents, it was felt the cost would be too expensive. Now, all of a sudden, you want seat belts because a student died---how nice of you; what do you tell the parents of those students who have previously lost their lives in school bus crashes? Use a little common sense and put it on the ballot. At least that way, the people can make up your minds for you and eliminate your assinine debate over "cost-effectiveness."

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 10/18/10 - 09:04 am
0
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I have mixed feelings about

I have mixed feelings about this, only because I once drove a school bus (this was when they had student bus drivers). Do you realize how difficult it is to put three sets of seatbelts in each seat (which is (or was) the requirement) and have these students actually use them? You can hardly get the students to stay in their seats, much less put a seatbelt on. What about the students who have to stand in the aisle? I agree that something needs to be done but in reality how effective are seatbelts going to be?

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 10/18/10 - 09:24 am
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Students use the seat belts

Students use the seat belts as weapons, also.

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 10/18/10 - 09:26 am
0
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I guess there is no

I guess there is no difference in this rush to judgement than in the Columbia County government's decision to have taxpayers put a sidewalk in a suburb because a woman walking in the street got killed by a motorist. Can anyone say "knee-jerk?"

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 10/18/10 - 09:27 am
0
0
I guess the first thing the

I guess the first thing the Augusta County commission needs to do tomorrow is to vote for a sidewalk where that boy was killed by the hit-and-run driver. Where will it stop?

follower
59
Points
follower 10/18/10 - 09:59 am
0
0
You really hate to play a

You really hate to play a numbers game when it comes to lives, but come on. The number of kids transported and the extremely small number of deaths seem to indicate a pretty safe system overall.

Are there not risks in any endevour? If we are so concerned about safety and lives, why not make the speed limit 20mph? Absurd? Yes, but if everyone traveled at 20mph or less, traffic deaths would be all but eliminated. So we are obviously willing to accept some degree of risk.

We will never live in a completely risk free society. Trying to legislate such will take a huge bite out of the liberties and the pocketbook of the populace.

Common sense and qualified drivers are still our best bet.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 10/18/10 - 10:50 am
0
0
If belts are put into buses,

If belts are put into buses, who's going to make certain that students wear their them and will the bus driver be held responsible if students refuses to use them?

c.james
0
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c.james 10/18/10 - 10:59 am
0
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At the very least make them

At the very least make them mandatory for children in Grammar and Middle schools. If the belts aren’t buckled then the bus doesn’t roll. Make it incumbent upon the parents to enforce the law and educate the child or they don't ride. High School should be optional and a fine should be imposed if they don't comply with State law, like any passenger. In the 15-18 year old bracket I say take away their driving privileges for non compliance and you'll see how fast they use the belts as they were intended.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 10/18/10 - 11:24 am
0
0
c.james, your statemtent "If

c.james, your statemtent "If the belts aren't buckled then the bus doesn't roll" sounds good in theory but what happens when you have one or two who unbuckle the seatbelt, stop the bus until they are all buckled again. This could make kids getting home at 10pm every night because I guarantee there will be one or two who aren't always buckled. Take names and kick them off the bus.....we see how well that worked for students standing up on the bus. My concern is if there is a fire or the bus happens to run off the road and becomes submerge in water. Yes it's highly unlikely, but it can happen. I agree with follower, if the buses had govenors put back on them to reduce their speed, there would be less chance of an accident. The way some of these bus drivers drive, it's no wonder more accidents don't happen.

Tisk tisk what is this world coming to
0
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0
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Rolling eyes YES they would

Rolling eyes YES they would hold the driver accountable if a few students were not wearing a seatbelt just like they would hold a bus driver accountable if they were to rear end a car while disciplining little angel Johnny and heaven sent Sally for being out of their seats and hitting the child behind them. Of course you realize that when Little Johnny and Sally were at school the teacher fed them candy just before entering the bus because they behaved all day. The only crime a bus driver commits is that he or she took the bus driving job!

Tisk tisk what is this world coming to
0
Points
0
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InChristLove sure, stop and

InChristLove sure, stop and wait until the hook up the seatbelt again. You'll be there all night then in trouble with the school for the extra hours you worked and with the children's parents for being late because little angel Johnny missed his dentist appointment.

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 10/18/10 - 12:21 pm
0
0
Let's say a child gets on the

Let's say a child gets on the bus and ambles back to sit in the last row. How will the driver know if the seat belt is fastened securely around her body in the approved manner? The driver will have to walk all the way back and look. What will the child in the front seat do when the driver is trying to ascertain prescribed seat belt usage? Why, the child might try to drive the bus himself!

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 10/18/10 - 12:50 pm
0
0
Tisk tisk, isn't this what I

Tisk tisk, isn't this what I said? my comment: "This could make kids getting home at 10pm every night because I guarantee there will be one or two who aren't always buckled."

Couldn't tell if you were agreeing with me or arguing my statement?

Captain Awesome
0
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Captain Awesome 10/18/10 - 12:52 pm
0
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@Little Lamb The Columbia

@Little Lamb
The Columbia County incident was terrible and now that Columbia County is much more suburban, side walks make sense. Not everybody can drive a car everywhere. You're going to see less people driving now that the economy has been tanking for so long.

Sweet son
11104
Points
Sweet son 10/18/10 - 01:39 pm
0
0
Richmond County buses already

Richmond County buses already run late. With seat belts students might get to school by lunch. Need to talk to the bus union to see what they think since they are already "overworked" and "underpaid".

dwb619
101248
Points
dwb619 10/18/10 - 02:24 pm
0
0
My spouse has been driving a

My spouse has been driving a school bus for over twenty years. This subject has come up numerous times. The drivers are of the opinion that the use of seat belts is totally un-enforceable.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 10/18/10 - 02:29 pm
0
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Ok, we've seen some curious

Ok, we've seen some curious reasoning as to what may happen in the event of an accident. I'm interested in knowing how the seat belt safety rule would be enforced. Will they hire a seat belt inspector on each bus, checking every student to make sure that the belt is buckled before the driver moves on or will there be flashing indicators for the bus driver to see and determine who is unbuckled?

One idea involves hiring extra people to supervise the bus and the other is complete fantasy. The other would be far too expensive. Putting belts in the bus and then expecting the driver to enforce the kids in wearing them or the drivers be held responsible for non compliance would result in a strike.

Nightwing
0
Points
Nightwing 10/18/10 - 02:29 pm
0
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Annother government knee jerk

Annother government knee jerk reaction. All in the name to protect us.

airbud7
1
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airbud7 10/18/10 - 02:56 pm
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Out of the 26 million

Out of the 26 million students who ride the bus to school everyday, less than ten are killed in school bus crashes a year. "A school bus is nine times safer than a passenger vehicle,".

TidBit☺

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 10/18/10 - 03:27 pm
0
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Thank you, airbud. That one

Thank you, airbud. That one factoid shows that the hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to equip and maintain school buses with safety belts would be money down the drain.

When the general assembly meets in January, we need to be vigilant and write our legislators.

And I hope that State Rep. Terry England is defeated at the polls next month.

follower
59
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follower 10/18/10 - 04:32 pm
0
0
People, the idea is to make

People, the idea is to make any risk as safe as is REASONABLY possible. It doesn't seem REASONABLE to have every child buckle up. And doing so will not guarantee a child would be safe in an accident.

Let's turn this thing around. As Airbud7 posted, school buses are 9 times safer than passenger vehicles. In light of this statistic, if we are truly "worried" about the children, many, many more teens die driving to school. I personally know of 3 at one school in the past 4 years that died in an accident on the way to school. Are we ready to make them ride the bus?

Every child is precious, but life is not risk free and we can't write enough legislation to make it so.

corgimom
36879
Points
corgimom 10/18/10 - 06:22 pm
0
0
"If the belts aren’t buckled

"If the belts aren’t buckled then the bus doesn’t roll."

I have to ask.

Ok, the driver makes sure that the seat belts are fastened. He/she walks from back to front. As he/she walks forward, all of the belts behind him/her are unfastened.

So how does the bus driver drive the bus while simultaneously checking seat belts?

"Make it incumbent upon the parents to enforce the law and educate the child or they don't ride. "

This is funny. You can't even make parents teach their children "It is not ok to assault teachers at school".

You can't even get parents to teach their kids "It is not ok to stand up on a school bus", "It is not ok to throw things out of the window of a school bus", "it is not ok to start a fight on a school bus", and all the other crap that goes on.

There isn't enough money in the world that could ever make it worth it for me to drive a school bus. It is truly one of the worst jobs ever.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 10/18/10 - 06:48 pm
0
0
Like follower and ICL are

Like follower and ICL are saying, we can't fix and control everything. Standing up on a moving bus seems more like a problem that should be addressed. As to misbehavior, kick them off the bus and let the parents be responsible for getting them to school or face charges of truancy. Another good project to consider, parents need a place to go to learn to be parents. Perhaps a good job for the churches to consider.

Tisk tisk what is this world coming to
0
Points
0
0
Not bad for a bunch of

Not bad for a bunch of armchair QB's. But really many of you do not have a clue.

1. Sitting down is bus management. School systems don't teach it. They have videos but it is personal style and discipline more than anything.

2. Get the parents to teach them. When the bus drives around the corner do you really think that child is doing what mom and dad said? Heck no!!!!!! So it is on the drivers back again.

3. Seat belts. Who is going to unbuckle them in case of water, fire or a train?

4. Lack of seatbelt's didn't kill that child, poor bus driver training did. Over correcting a steering wheel when the right front tire drops on the road is a elementary or fundamental process.

5. Governments will never address or fix the real issue. Proper training.

6. If we were really concerned about children's lives there would be monitors on every bus in Georgia. Let the driver drive and the monitor do crowd control.

7. Drive responsibly around buses. Don't be afraid to get stuck behind one or run its stop sign. THEY CARRY YOUR FUTURE!!!!!

fftaz71
108
Points
fftaz71 10/19/10 - 05:44 am
0
0
Wait...who is in charge

Wait...who is in charge people...the adults or the children? Not to mention, seatbelts have been on school buses in NY since the 1980s. I know because I had to ride a bus with seatbelts on them. I had a bus driver who had NO problem whatsoever pulling that bus over until we learned how to behave properly.. and he didnt have an aide on his bus to watch over us. We knew the rules, we were expected to obey them and the consequences were finding our own way to school if we couldnt. And...they were enforced, after once or twice, the driver didnt have to pull over often. If you were the student that caused the driver to pull over, your name was reported to the school and the bus company and your parents got a letter. Riding the bus was a privelege not a right... When someone on our bus badmouthed the driver and threw a few cuss words at him, the punishment was that NOBODY on the bus could talk. Extended 1 day every time someone opened their mouth. It lasted one week.
Kids today grow up knowing that they have to wear a seatbelt in the car, so why do you all think its going to be so hard to tell them the school bus is no different. OR are you all saying you cant make your own kids wear their seatbelt??
The fire/bus in the pond concern is a moot point to me...what if your car catches on fire/goes into a pond? Its going to sink just as fast if not faster than a school bus will.

Tisk tisk what is this world coming to
0
Points
0
0
fftaz71 that was about 30

fftaz71 that was about 30 years ago, a lot has changed. I was going to explain but decided not to since you are such an expert about how it was back in the day. Different time, different rules, different way to act!!!!!!!

You really do not know or understand what is happening and the school systems designed it that way.

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