Harvest on the Hill

Northridge Community Church hosts the 4th annual "Harvest on the Hill" fall festival. It’s a safe, family friendly event where children will be able to "Trunk or Treat" as well as have many other fun games and activities like inflatable's, crafts, games, bonfire, movie, costume, and pumpkin carving contest. 5100 Dickerson Rd. 964-1500.


Study after study after study has shown that seat belts would make kids significantly less safe in buses. The problem with the logic that they'd reduce injuries is that it assumes that they're properly worn -- snugly around the hips. When improperly worn, such as loosely up the waist, seat belts could turn minor bus accidents into mass-paralysis incidents.

Remember, too, that buses are enormous things. They're built like tanks. Physics strongly favors the school bus. I remember in elementary school when the bus driver pulled over and stopped, radioing in to get police out. We were all confused until somebody looked out the back window. Somebody had rear-ended us, crumpling the front end of their car. Clearly the thing was totaled. But we didn't feel a thing. The bus took us to school, and there was no sign of damage on the outside.

On average, 11 kids die in school bus accidents each year. That's with BILLIONS of passenger miles driven. That's an absolutely phenomenal rate. I'll guarantee you that more kids choke to death on lollipops each year, but nobody's calling for a safety string on those.

That 17,000 figure seems misleading to me. That might be how many kids really do go to the hospital, but from what I recall from media reports of bus crashes, often the kids are taken to the hospital just as a precaution, not because they're hurt.

Like Waldo said, I just don't see enough compelling evidence for seatbelts - no bus driver has time to check and make sure 50 kids are buckled in properly. I'd be interested to see how many accidents are caused by bus drivers distracted by misbehaving kids.

As a teacher who has been on bus trips with little ones, the main benefit that I can see is that seatbelts would force students to sit straight and forward in their seats. I can't even tell you how many times one child will sit up and turn around and distract other students, and consequently the driver, which affects safety risks.

I do see time as an issue. Many buses are shared with the elementary, middle and high schools, and if a bus is having an issue with getting them one, it delays the schedules for the othes schools requiring services. So it isn't just a funding issue for those schoolbuses, it would also affect funding for all buses, to avoid this problem, and have seatbelts.

As a school bus driver, most accidents occur from the driver having to constantly look into the student mirror to get onto students standing or turning around in their seats (which is very dangerous in an accident). Seatbelts would remedy that problem, but in the event of an accident how would I get all students unbuckled especially if a fire broke out. The belts would have to be harnesses to avoid injury and there would have to be some kind of mechanism to release all belts in the event of a fire or after a wreck when it is safe for the children to be unbuckled. The children could not be given the responsibility of unbuckling themselves because they would do it while in motion and may even use the buckles as weapons.