Indiana District Testing Seatbelts on Buses for Safety

Indiana District Testing Seatbelts on Buses for Safety

Lap-shoulder seat belts can help keep students safe in a side-impact crash, but the test’s main focus will be seeing whether the seat belts improve student discipline and reduce distractions for drivers.

Franklin Community Schools Transportation officials will be testing seat belts on school buses to see whether they improve safety and behavior on buses.

According to Fox News 59, a single bus with lap-shoulder seat belts arrived at the district’s transportation garage a few days ago. Once it passes inspection by the Indiana State Police, the bus will begin taking students by the end of the month.

Transportation Director Doug Dickinson said the seat belt test should last about a month. Dickinson hopes the test will show the benefits and disadvantages of seat belts on school buses.

Lap-shoulder seat belts can help keep students safe in a side-impact crash, but the test’s main focus will be seeing whether the seat belts improve student discipline and reduce distractions for drivers.

“Bus discipline is a pretty major issue that we have,” Dickinson said. “And it’s not just us, it’s everybody.”

Video from a FCS bus transporting elementary school students in December showed how often the driver had to look away from the road to tell children to stay in their seats, get out of the aisle and stop pushing each other.

“When I view bus tapes, I can see the driver’s eyes,” Dickinson said. “And I can see how many times they have to glance up in the mirror and yell back at students and stuff to sit down, things like that.”

“Usually, drivers will glance back and forth pretty quick,” Dickinson added. “But still, it’s still an issue where their attention is taken away from the road. And that’s their number one job, to keep their eyes on the road and navigate this bus safely.”

According to Dickinson, outfitting each bus with lap-shoulder belts will cost an estimated $6,500 per bus. He said the single-bus pilot program should start by the end of the month and last for a month, after which driver input and on-board video footage will be presented to the school board for discussion.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - September October 2019

    September/October 2019

    Featuring:

    • Security Technology is a Top Priority
    • HERO Unit Provides School Security
    • Confront Active Shooters
    • Run, Hide, and Let Law Enforcement Fight

    View This Issue