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Advocates Push for Seatbelts on School Buses

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In September of last year, a tragic crash involving a Houston Independent School District bus killed two students and injured several others. The fatal crash was only weeks after another area school bus accident resulted in over 30 students being transported to the hospital. Since that time, safety advocates have been boisterous in their support of improving safety on school buses, and scathing in their criticism on a lack of state funding to implement seatbelts.

According to advocates, Texas took steps in the right direction years before the crashes when, in 2009, state lawmakers allocated $10 million to equip school buses with seat belts. Unfortunately, however, less than $1 million of the original $10 million was ultimately give the school districts to implement the safety update.

Even though state law required seatbelts on school buses, a loophole allowed districts to avoid adding them simply because there was no funding. The issue has been highlighted in light of the tragic crashes that recently took place in Texas, and will hopefully motivate lawmakers into taking quick action to make school buses safer.

As noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school buses are considered to be quite safe:

  • Each morning, school buses keep over 17 million vehicles of public roads, including roads nearby schools and children.
  • School buses are considered the safest form of transporting children to and from home and school.
  • By design, school buses are intended to be safer than passenger cars at avoiding collisions and preventing injuries when collisions occur.

Although school buses have they safety benefits, many parents, advocates, and legislators easily agree that adding seatbelts – one of the most revolutionary safety inventions of modern time – is a no-brainer. Still, as we’ve learned from the many auto accident cases we have handled at The Daspit Law Firm, safety precautions don’t immediately negate the risks created by negligence. When negligence does contribute to accidents, victims have the right to pursue justice and compensation.

If you have questions about your rights or the rights of a loved one following any type of bus accident or traffic wreck, our Victoria personal injury lawyers are available to discuss your case during a free consultation.

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