Indiana Newspaper Board’s Strong Endorsement of School Bus Belts


Do seat belts on school buses enhance safety and minimize the personal injury downsides when accidents occur?

According to one recent Indiana news article, the answer to that question depends on who you’re asking. The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel editorial board says, “research has been mixed.”

The paper stresses that some federal regulators insist the perceived benefits of a belt-mandatory policy on all American school buses are insufficient to justify the costs. That is of course sensitive subject matter to broach when couched in a cost-benefit framework.

A growing number of transportation groups are reportedly getting solidly on board with that recommendation, though, including the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Fort Wayne publication puts a local spotlight on the matter, with its board citing with approval the decision of select schools and counties in Indiana to mandate seat belts on all new school buses.

And the board notes proposed legislation co-authored in a bipartisan way that calls for every school district in the state to have shoulder/lap restraints for all seats on every school bus. Notably, that would-be law failed to gain passage earlier this year.

It is likely that the bill will be resubmitted in the future. One of its authors says that, “If we can prevent one death, it’s something well worth doing.”

Who can in good faith plausibly argue against that sentiment?

Of course, many factors – prominently including human negligence — can singly or collectively contribute to personal injuries that are suffered by individuals in school bus crashes or other motor vehicle accidents. Questions or concerns regarding crash causes and outcomes in Indiana can be directed to proven attorneys at an established Indianapolis personal injury law firm.


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