CR on school bus for SpEd preschooler?


New member
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I need some info on any laws or regs in exisitance for preschoolers riding special ed buses in Massachusetts. I've tried searching here and the GL as well. CRS's are not required on buses per MA law is all I've got.

DS, who just turned 3yo 2 days ago and weights a grand total of 26lbs, will be riding to school on a SpEd bus. The district told us we were required to provide a carseat. But this morning when I brought our Decathalon to the bus, the driver told me it was not a good idea to use a 'real carseat'. They said he should be in a backless booster. The reason being that the lapbelts are too slippery and become loose easily causing the seats to fall off the benches going around turns and at stops. DS has autism, is prone to bolting, and can rarely follow directions especially on a noisy bus. Unfortunately, we need the bus ride so he can separate from me. Otherwise, he's a mess. He also needs to go to school. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've contacted the SpEd department who forwarded my concerns to the Transportation Director. Pass the buck much?


New member
First of all, does the bus have shoulder belts? If not, using a booster is extremely dangerous, more dangerous than using nothing at all.

A backless booster is not appropriate for any 3yo and doubly inappropriate for a child with autism. He needs to be harnessed. Not to mention, there is no such thing as a booster for a 26 pound child.

Your best bet is probably going to be to learn how to properly install his Decathlon on the bus, and address the slippery belt problem if needed. If it's a lap-shoulder belt, the lockoffs on the seat should be sufficient. If it's a lap-only belt then it needs to be addressed differently.

Whereabouts in MA are you? Feel free to PM if you don't want it posted publicly.


New member
I am not a tech, have a question/suggestion for a tech, what about a RSTV? Can it be used w/ a lap only seat belt?

If aloud, it would save having to drag a CR onto/off a bus every day and worrying about installation and/or correct use...And, it would solve the problem for a lot longer than the CR which he'll outgrow sooner than the various sizes of RSTV vests.

Here at 3yo, the children are *aloud* to ride in a lap only belt on our bus, it makes me sick....



New member
No, you can't use an RSTV on a bus. No tether anchor = no upper torso restraint.

There are bus-only restraints that use a cam wrap. A cam wrap is basically a big strap that goes around the back of the seat and provides upper torso restraint.

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