General Question

Spargett's avatar

Why aren't you required to wear a seatbelt in busses?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) July 3rd, 2008

School busses, Greyhound, etc.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

scubydoo's avatar

are the seats considered “back seats”? I had thought that you aren’t required to wear seat belts in the back seat. maybe someone could verify that.

jonno's avatar

Many buses do in fact have seatbelts, generally tour buses or long-distance buses (so not the regular type, low-floor type of bus that stops frequently at bus stops).

Although you may have been implying that in the question – and asking why, when you are in a bus with seatbelts, it is voluntary to wear them. A possible reason is because it means that buses can’t carry more people than they have seats, as those people who are standing wouldn’t be wearing a seatbelt (so crowded city buses with standing passengers wouldn’t be allowed).

scubydoo – this depends on the jurisdiction. I know there are some places that don’t require seatbelts in the back seats (I think Italy is like this, for example). However, even in places that do require all occupants to wear seatbelts, they often don’t require people in buses to wear seatbelts.

marinelife's avatar

Here is the State of Michigan’s answer for school buses, which I found enlightening. I did not know such tests had been done and design standards created.

“The United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for establishing motor vehicle safety manufacturing standards and requirements for vehicles, including school buses. The standards developed for the manufacture of school buses incorporate an occupant protection design referred to as ?compartmentalization,” which is unique to the school bus. This standard provides a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs. The effectiveness of compartmentalization has been confirmed in the National Transportation Safety Board and National Academy of Sciences studies. School safety standards have been adopted into the Michigan Vehicle Code which exempts large buses, over 10,000 pounds, from the seat belt requirements. Small school buses that weigh less than 10,000 pounds must be equipped with lap or lap/shoulder belts. Since smaller buses are closer in size and weight to those of passenger cars, the agency believes seat belts in smaller buses are necessary to provide occupant protection. Drivers of all sizes of buses are required to wear seat belts because the drivers are located in the front of the bus with no seat ahead of them, so they are not protected by a compartmentalized space.”

babygalll's avatar

City buses are not required to wear seat belts, only the driver. Read more here.

@scubydoo: Not sure what state you are in. In California if you are in a motor vehicle it is required by law to wear a seat belt in the front and back seats.

gailcalled's avatar

NYS also requires all passengers in cars to use their seat belts.

generalspecific's avatar

man, it bothers me so much when I ride on a bus with no seatbelts, I just feel naked.
especially the 10 – 13 hour drives while on tour.. I can’t see how that can be legal.

Zaku's avatar

Most collisions are a lot softer in a bus because it is huge and won’t slow down as quickly as a smaller vehicle. Even if it hits something larger than it is, like a solid rock wall, it is flimsier and its deformation during colision will exert lower forces on the passengers and what’s likely to happen to them isn’t nearly as bad as in a smaller car.

gooch's avatar

It also slows down rapid evacuation. Some little kids could not unbuckle themself. Most people would not want to wait for the driver to go unbuckle the little kids in the back.

jimmyjones's avatar

Perhaps it is intended to help reduce the population. School buses are especially guilty of having no seat belts for the children.

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