OPINION: JCPS needs to implement seat belts in buses after the pandemic


Ofelia Mattingly

Students walking to their buses to return home. Photo by Ofelia Mattingly

Ofelia Mattingly

In previous years, school buses proved to be dangerous to students ranging from ages 5-18. Bus drivers are in a safer position where they will come out of a minor accident with a head injury or bruise from a seatbelt. 

Students on the other hand are in a more dangerous position without a seatbelt because they can fly to either side of the bus or to the ceiling. Buses can have a normal amount of students sitting on each seat or it may be crowded, but it is a guarantee that all students will be injured if the bus got into a major accident.

Watch this video to see how a bus crash will affect students compared to the bus driver.

According to nbcphiladelphia, the way school buses are made are able to absorb the impact of the accident and prevent any harmful injuries. Though buses are made of tough material, students can still fly around the interior of the bus, especially if the bus tips over. 

As seen in the video above, even with the strength of the bus, the students can suffer harmful injuries without the use of seatbelts.

If seatbelts are implemented, there will be other problems to accompany it. Problems such as not having enough buses to transport students, not having enough room for children to have a seatbelt, and enforcing students to wear the seatbelt have a high chance of arising. 

Though this may be a problem, we as a school community need to make known of this problem and contact politicians to increase the school’s budget, so schools can get the necessary amount of buses and safely travel students without worrying about students flying around if they get into a bus accident. As a community, we can also set up fundraisers to first raise money for more buses and raise the salary for bus drivers, so districts don’t have to worry about hiring bus drivers. 

Enforcing the use of seatbelts to students may take more time for older students, but teaching younger students to utilize them in the beginning will probably make them more likely to use them later.