car seats on public transportation

D

Destiny

Guest
for future reference Is this possible? I know lap belt only is but what about the child in it? what about boosters which require shoulder belts for support if child has outgrown 5pt harness limits? I am comfortable installing all kinds of seats and will be becoming a CPST soon.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
If the bus has a normal seatbelt system, you could only use it to install a type of child seat that is compatible with that system. Much depends on the type of locking mechanism. For example, some lap belt systems could be used to install a rear-facing car seat. A shoulder belt would be necessary for a booster seat. A forward-facing harness seat could be installed with a lap belt, but ideally would also use a top tether. For older kids on a large bus, there may be other tradeoffs to consider.
 
D

Destiny

Guest
I understand that but since the buses move as soon as you get on if the child was already in seat ( think RF/FF convertible) could the seat be installed with the seat in use
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Theoretically, yes. Practically, no. I think it's very likely that even if it was compatible and you had the space to work with other riders, you may end up spending more time trying to install it with the child in the seat than it would take to get to your destination.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Many states have exceptions for children on public transit and sometimes even in taxicabs and/or limosuines. You would have to check your own state's law or local municipal laws to be sure.

As for safety, on a full size city bus, an unrestrained child may not be "unsafe", but that would depend on the age and size of the child and other factors. Certainly unrestrained is almost always less safe than being properly restrained, but of course that isn't possible in every case.

Many factors that cause crashes in cars apply much less to buses. For example, bus drivers know their routes and aren't distracted by GPS, unknown roads, they don't drive drunk, etc. Buses are very visible and generally much more likely to be seen by other vehicles to avoid a crash. Also, in a crash, full size buses, like full size school buses, also have a major advantage in mass if they collide with a passenger vehicle. That means it is less likely to have injuries to passengers on the bus. Obviously there are exceptions. Rollovers are always bad for any unrestrained passenger in any type of vehicle.

It is still safer to have young children in an appropriate child restraint on a school bus or any bus if a suitable seatbelt system is available. How much safer is unknown as I have not seen any recent and compelling data.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Another thing to consider is what type of seats there are. Typical city buses have no belts and hard plastic seats. Private shuttles and some specialty services often have side-facing seats, on which a seat can't be properly installed. Coaches often have contoured seats with non locking belts. There are really so many variables it would be impossible to be prepared for all of them without knowing your local equipment very well.
 

tylert11

New member
for future reference Is this possible? I know lap belt only is but what about the child in it? what about boosters which require shoulder belts for support if child has outgrown 5pt harness limits? I am comfortable installing all kinds of seats and will be becoming a CPST soon.
It all depends on the type of seat belt used on the bus.
 

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