Should school districts add seatbelts to their school buses? It’s a question that has been brought up for many years across the nation.
As the discussions continue, Robertson County Schools is turning talk into reality as they have now added seatbelts to some of their school buses.
Robertson County has four full-size buses that have been fitted with three-point lap and shoulder belts.
They have also been approved to retrofit two more buses with seatbelts. The hope is to add even more in the future.
“The state offered a grant that you had to apply for to actually fit those buses with the new seatbelts,” said Chris Causey, Robertson County Director of Schools. “Our supervisor of transportation and his department applied for that grant. We had to change some policies for that and we had to apply for the grant.”
“A school bus without seatbelts, someone would say are they safe? They absolutely are,” said Joshua Hinerman-Supervisor of Transportation for Robertson County Schools. “We have compartmentalization, and the buses – if we are ever in an accident – compartmentalization works if we are in a front end accident. But we have done nothing to take care of the side impacts and the more prevalent issues when the buses roll over on their side. In the Chattanooga accident, you see kids thrown all over the bus. Lap and shoulder seatbelts are going to keep them strapped in and in place.”
On Wednesday, students were able to get on the buses to make sure they know how the new seatbelts work.
The new school buses are also equipped with multiple cameras throughout the bus.