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  1. #1
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    School bus safety

    (I apologize in advance if this does not belong in this forum)

    I am having major issues....... We have identified a school 30 mins away that I'd like to put the kids in come fall, and they offer bus transportation. I'm just very paranoid about having the kids (DD will be starting pre-K) on a bus for 30 mins where the speed limit is 55, with no seat belt.......

    I asked the school and was told the bus has no seat belts but that "someone looked into bus safety and blah blah blah the child is safe if they don't sit in the front blah blah busses safer than cars blah blah"......

    It's just not possible for me to take the kids there and pick them up (I work FT), so if we decided to put them there (a very good, AFFORDABLE private school), bus is our only option...

    How do I approach this? Do I ask to speak to the "bus manager person", ask to "inspect" the bus? Can I use a safety device of some sort even if there is no seat belt? (I searched some old posts and found something by Safeguard I think it was??).

    I guess I want to be sure I do my research up front before I do call (and put in our application...), so that I can say that "I'd be happy to provide our own safety restraint etc". I think the approach of it all will become important ("I'm a car seat nut and I love your school but I will have to get permission to use a safety restraint for my children or I cannot allow them on the bus", or something like that).

    ???????

    Suggestions and thoughts are welcome. I was really impressed by the academics at this school, environment, teachers, etc. It's just this bus transportation which I am really really concerned about......

    DS currently rides the bus to school and has since K, and it's about 1 mile total. I know something could happen there too, but I guess I have been less concerned due to the speed limit and distance. 30 mins at 55 pmh freaks me out, though.......

    (BTW, is it true that kids are safer in school busses compared to a car?? We had a fatal accident today in my city due to the weather and it freaks me out to think that, technically, this car could have been making a left hand turn across traffic right before a school bus instead of the diesel truck! Even if the weather is good, people make stupid moves when they drive....ugh!)

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: School bus safety

    I'm sure someone else will explain compartmentalization much better than I could. And yes, busses (the big yellow kind) are statistically less likely to get in an accident.

    Even if you do get permission and install your own restraint, what happens if the bus breaks down one day and they send a different one in its place?
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  4. #3
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    Re: School bus safety

    Quote Originally Posted by pixels99 View Post
    I'm sure someone else will explain compartmentalization much better than I could. And yes, busses (the big yellow kind) are statistically less likely to get in an accident.

    Even if you do get permission and install your own restraint, what happens if the bus breaks down one day and they send a different one in its place?
    Thanks for that term, I have looked it up and I'm reading some articles online now.

    And you're right that I don't know what happens if I provided my own restraint and the bus broke down (but I guess they would be riding without one!).

    I guess based on your response, I come across as paranoid?.......

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: School bus safety

    Well, without knowing more about the bus, I won't say "paranoid" yet
    Is it one of the big yellow busses, with high seat backs?

    Oh wait, you said pre-K. DD is 3.5. No, compartmentalization doesn't work at that age. There was a thread on here a little while ago about it ... let's see if I can find it ... here it is:http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=68783
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  6. #5
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    Re: School bus safety

    Thanks for the link.

    It's a regular school bus. DD will be 4 by the time this would start but I doubt she'll be any bigger than 35 Ibs (she's put on 2 Ibs in the last year and a half.....).

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: School bus safety

    Around here, pre-K students must ride the little buses, the kind with lapbelts, and some with built-in harnesses for kids under 40 pounds. As a previous poster mentioned, compartmentalization doesn't work for children smaller than the average 6yo, so I'd be very hesitant to put a 4yo/35# child on a big school bus.

    This handout has some pretty helpful information on school bus safety: http://carseat.org/Resources/109_schoolbus.pdf
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  8. #7
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    Re: School bus safety

    Thanks, I'm going to look over the link that you attached. I'm in Maryland, if that helps.

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: School bus safety

    In the little bit of research I just did on Maryland law, it appears that it's legal to transport preschoolers on buses without seatbelts. Only vehicles that transport 15 or less people are required to belt their child passengers. Legal does not equal safe, of course. It's a tough situation to be in, as a parent.

    Can you possibly approach the bus authorities with information showing how much preschoolers really need the small buses with restraints?
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  10. #9
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    Re: School bus safety

    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbunny View Post
    In the little bit of research I just did on Maryland law, it appears that it's legal to transport preschoolers on buses without seatbelts. Only vehicles that transport 15 or less people are required to belt their child passengers. Legal does not equal safe, of course. It's a tough situation to be in, as a parent.

    Can you possibly approach the bus authorities with information showing how much preschoolers really need the small buses with restraints?

    I could try, although I don't know if it will work in this case....... I've seen the smaller busses for like Head Start, etc, but this bus is just like a "normal" school bus that the private school is using. It appears to be close to full too (ages Pre-K thru 8th grade).

    Also, i have looked at several prior posts about this subject and just wanted to clarify that it's not just 30 mins on the bus of getting up to 55 mph.... It's literally 30 mins AT 55 mph! The school is about 25 miles away, and the bus runs on the State Highway (divided highway)........ ugh!

    What I was thinking then was MAYBE they would let me use like a harness restraint for DD, or something like that. Apparently, the bus drivers are pretty good about making sure the children are seated where they want them, sitting still, etc. So maybe if I talk to them and see "what can be done", they will accomodate? (Provided there is something in the bus that i can anchor the harness to..... hm.... I think the vest I'm thinking about is the EZ harness?).

    If it was just DS I wouldn't be worried, but having a 4 yr old on a state road for 30 mins with absolutey no restraint kinda freaks me out......

    I'll continue to do some research and read up on the subject and then I think I'll try to approach the school to see if "it's possible to work something out", before paying $60 combined for their school applications......

    Thanks for all the help and input thus far!

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