Since many students in Georgia use the school bus system, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a workshop on school bus safety with a focus on the addition of a three point belt system to all school buses. The NHTSA reports that between the years 2004 and 2013, 327 children died in school-transportation related accidents. A school-transportation accident involves a school bus or non-school bus functioning as a school transportation vehicle. Fifty four deaths involved occupants of school transportation vehicles, while 147 were occupants of other vehicles. Pedestrians accounted for 116 deaths.

This past winter, several school bus accidents occurred, including a fatal accident in Knoxville that killed two children and a teacher’s aide. These accidents have spurred many parents and safety experts to be asking why there are not seatbelts on school buses. Georgia, along with 43 other states, does not require seatbelts on school buses. Some claim that the school bus is already a safe mode of transportation due to its sheer size and weight, which absorbs most of the impact in the event of a crash. School bus manufacturers believe that the design of the seats, which are close together and thickly padded, also offer ample protection to students.

Others urge that seatbelts are an essential safety device in any vehicle and school buses should not be an exception. Children are killed while riding school buses and those who have luckily survived often report flying out of the seat or careening into the seat ahead. Seatbelts would ensure children remain in their seats at all times and are protected in the event of a crash.

Cost is a considerable deterrent to the addition of safety belts. While some Atlanta private schools have installed lap and harness belts in buses, public schools rely on state funding that, as of now, does not cover the retrofitting of school buses with belts. It is estimated that it would cost up to $15,000 per bus to add seatbelts, which is a cost many school boards feel is simply not worth the money, given what they view to be a minimal safety benefit.

The NHTSA is now considering making new safety recommendations concerning school buses and they will weigh the addition of seatbelts. It is likely that if the NHTSA finds strong evidence in support of a safety benefit to the addition of seatbelts, recommendations could evolve to urge school districts to retrofit existing buses.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 39 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

If have been injured in a school transportation related accident, contact the Atlanta Bus Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm brings over 39 years of experience to your bus accident case. We offer zealous and knowledgeable representation to each injured client as well as their families and accept cases across Georgia and in the Southeast. Prompt action is vital to the success of your school transportation related case. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance as your time to file a claim after your accident is limited. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.