The National Traffic Safety Board (“NTSB”) met in Washington D.C. earlier this month for a board meeting to discuss safety improvements for school buses. The meeting came in the wake of a 2016 fatal school bus crash that occurred in Chattanooga, TN, which killed six (6) and injured another twenty-six (26) children. The NTSB recommended to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) that all new school buses should contain lap-shoulder seat belts, the board also issued recommendations that buses be equipped with electronic stability control — computerized technology that improves a vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing skidding.
The NHTSA, which sets national standards for school bus safety, requires lap-and-shoulder belts on school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds, but allows individual states to decide whether to require seat belts on larger school buses. Eight (“8”) states — Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas — have passed laws requiring seatbelts be installed on school buses.
It will be interesting to see if the NHTSA follows the NTSB’s recommendations that states should enact laws requiring these lap seat belts on all new buses. Or, the NHTSA can look to the U.S. legislature to enact a law requiring all states follow these safety protocols. I think this is vastly needed, but would be shocked if this current congress and presidential administration would enact laws that would require these additional safety regulations. The current congress and president seem more apt to deregulate as much as possible regardless of the safety ramifications. We shall wait and see what happens here.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Illinois bus accident or any type of Illinois traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.