GREENSBORO, N.C. – One of the first things you’re supposed to do when you get in the car is buckle up, it’s the law. However, on a bus, it's a totally different story. Most of the time seatbelts aren't even an option. In fact, experts say, adding seat belts wouldn't make kids any safer.
But many districts, including Guilford, are testing to see if that's true. This year there will be 65 school buses in the district with seat belts. That's up from 30 last year.
This is part of a state-wide project that started last year. Transportation Director Jeff Harris told WFMY News 2, they are measuring how students react to the seat belts, if there needs to be laws requiring them and if it helps keep kids disciplined on the bus.
“Many elementary age students wore the seatbelts, not so much with the middle and high school students,” Harris said. “So, this year the focus is going to be on continuing to educate students, educate the parents showing them that wearing the seat belts is a positive thing.”
He added that many of the elementary kids hop seats and the seat belts help keep them in their seats.
If your child is on a bus with seat belts, they will get a letter the first week of school.
If the results are promising, all school buses in our state could have seat belts.
This all got started back in 2007. State legislators asked the Child Fatality Task Force to study seat belts on buses.
The task force found that school buses without belts are still the safest, but that if putting in belts would build a parent's confidence and get more kids to ride the bus...more children would be safer to and from school.
The task force did not recommend retrofitting existing school buses because it could compromise the bus’s structure. All of Guilford County's buses with seat belts are new.