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john65pennington's avatar

Should school buses be banned from the interstate?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) February 18th, 2010

Time and time again, i have been on the interstate in my personal car and observed yellow school buses speeding. i turned one in to the Board of Education and that driver was terminated. this was just one incident. is it really necessary for school buses, loaded or unloaded with children, to use the interstate? i see this as a bomb about to explode. there are plenty of unused state highways that school buses could travel in a much safer manor. agree or disagree?

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22 Answers

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Are you in a rural area? I would think that in those areas, interstates may be the only way to travel long distances in a reasonable amount of time (e.g. not picking the kids up at 4 a.m.)

Val123's avatar

Bad bus drivers are a terrifying thought, no matter where they are. On the side roads you get railroad crossings, four way stops and all kinds of other hazards.

john65pennington's avatar

How did school buses travel before the interstate system? they used the state highways. i understand the railroad crossings and longer time delays, but where is the safety in all of this? bad bus drivers are not the only problem. school buses on the interstate and road rage of other other motorists are a deadly combination. you and i both know the road rage drivers are out there.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

True, road rage is an important problem. But just because state roads were there before interstate roads doesn’t mean that they’re a better option. After all, before school buses there were horses and buggies, but no one’s suggesting using them to take kids to school. :-)

EmpressPixie's avatar

No, they should not. School buses are often used in long distance, even overnight school trips as well as the normal daily trips. Insisting that these trips double or triple their travel time to avoid interstates is unreasonable. Beyond that, drivers should be able to make a decision regarding rerouting that involves all roads available. In middle school, my driver sometimes took the interstate if there was an obstruction (usually a train) the way we normally went. His job was to get us to school on time, not wait twenty minutes for a train and deliver us late but stay off the interstate.

Val123's avatar

(I was thinking more along the lines of stupid bus drivers getting hit by trains.)

Likeradar's avatar

Disagree. Perhaps school drivers should be better trained and educated, but I think it’s silly to make this illegal because of some bad drivers.

john65pennington's avatar

Since we are talking about school bus safety, should school buses also be equipped with seat belts? if they must travel the interstate, should each student be belted in? this would save a lot of fights on the buses, also. gotta go.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Many schoolbuses are already equipped with seatbelts where I live. it’s a good idea.

Likeradar's avatar

@john65pennington And I don’t see why you think school buses should be illegal- why not motorcycles, SUVs, big rigs, commuter buses, Smart cars, vans, tow trucks, compacts, sedans… I assume you’ve seen them speeding too?
The way I see it, the “bomb about to explode” is in the form of the bad driver, not the vehicle.

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t have time to look for a source right now, or to verify whether this is really true, but I’ve heard that the number of American school bus accident fatalities averages something less than twenty annually. All things considered, that’s a pretty low number, statistically.

Darwin's avatar

@john65pennington – In our sports region many games are 200+ miles away. The best way and often the only way to get there is on the interstate. If school buses are to be not allowed on the interstate, how do you propose that our teams get to their games? Should they walk? Should we issue them motorcycles to get themselves to the games?

Many drivers speed – perhaps it would be better to spend more time ticketing speeders. You are in law enforcement, are you not? If drivers, school bus drivers included, are aware that local law enforcement is enforcing the speed limit they will all be less likely to speed and our roads will be safer for everyone.

Val123's avatar

@Darwin Motorcycles would be good!

Darwin's avatar

@Val123 – But much more dangerous than a school bus.

Val123's avatar

@Darwin We have too many kids running around as it is! So it’s ok…

bobbinhood's avatar

@john65pennington You suggest that buses be equipped with seat belts if they are going to travel the interstates. Why are seat belts any more imperative on the interstate than they are otherwise? Granted, the bus moves faster on the interstate, but it moves more than fast enough for a lack of seat belts to be dangerous on other roads, too.

In reference to your comment about seat belts preventing fights, I disagree. If two children want to fight, they will unbuckle and go at it. If a bully want’s to beat someone up, he/she will unbuckle, and the victim will be stuck in the seat because he/she may not have time to unbuckle before being attacked.

I think the reason a lot of buses don’t use seat belts is so all the children can get off the bus quickly in the event of an emergency. Since the children would likely panic, they would find it very difficult to undo their seat belts, and thus could be dangerously stuck on the bus if they were wearing them.

In answer to your original question, I do not believe buses should be banned from the interstate. Unless I was lied to in driver’s ed, or unless things have changed in the last seven years, there are far fewer accidents on the interstate than there are on other roads. If I recall correctly, most accidents happen near intersections. If bus drivers are taking back roads, they will incounter many, many intersections, and have that many more opportunities for an accident.

Also, why does the fact that some bus drivers speed on the interstate imply that buses should be banned from it? Any bus driver that speeds on an interstate will also speed on every other road. A dangerous driver is a dangerous driver, regardless of where he/she is driving. If anything, there should be “How am I driving?” phone numbers on buses, and the public should be encouraged to report problems. The way I see it, banning buses from the interstate will accomplish nothing.

Cruiser's avatar

Ban bad bus drivers not buses on the highway. Plus banning school buses would remove a huge source of entertainment on the road. Nothing is more fun than passing a school bus full of overactive kids!

john65pennington's avatar

Well, i guess i should have asked another question, not dealing with school buses. i believe the disagrees outnumber the agrees, concerning this question. sorry if i offended anyone. it was just a question.

bobbinhood's avatar

@john65pennington I, for one, am not offended; I just don’t understand your logic. I was hoping you might address some of the logical reasons buses should stay on the interstate, and provide your own argument for the contrary. Perhaps you had not yet gotten that far in considering the subject?

Likeradar's avatar

@john65pennington Nothing offensive about it, but it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Darwin's avatar

@john65pennington – I see nothing offensive either, but I understand you are in law enforcement. Don’t you consider all speeders to be breaking the law and making the roads less safe for the rest of us?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Busses = equipped with seat belts is a good Idea.

No busses on the interstate is a bad idea, Where I live the interstate was built over much of the old state routes, that would leave gravel roads to get to around.

As far as the speeding busses, my school district just installed govenors and that problem was solved.

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