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Two School Bus Safety Bills Proposed in Connecticut


Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 25, 2014 in Truck Accidents

Laws and regulations are often evaluated after an accident occurs, and this is the case for two new school bus safety bills in Connecticut. According to the Hartford Courant, the first bill would require seat belts in all public school buses. While the second bill proposes higher fines for bus drivers with repeat traffic offences, as well as telephone information displayed on each bus so that other drivers can call and report unsafe or reckless driving.

The Courant reports that the public?s response to the introduction of these bills has been mixed in Connecticut. Supporters of the bills believe that seat belts and tougher penalties are a step in the right direction toward safer transportation for children and a decrease in accidents involving school buses. While opponents feel that the passing of these bills would not significantly increase school bus safety and would instead simply result in significant costs to school districts.

WILL PROPOSED MEASURES REALLY INCREASE SAFETY?

Challengers of the new school bus safety bills maintain that there are several reasons school buses are not equipped with seat belts. One reason is that the use of seat belts would limit the number of children who could fit on one seat; three children are often required to share a single bench seat on an overcrowded bus. Also, the seats on school buses are designed with safety in mind; seats are soft and intended to reduce impact in the event of a crash, thus reducing the severity of injuries. Furthermore, safety belts could create added risk, should a school bus become submerged in water, the children might have difficulty extricating themselves if wearing seat belts.

School officials are also concerned about the presence of large lettering and phone numbers on school buses. It could become a distraction for other drivers, which might result in an increase in school bus-related accidents.

The introduction of these school bus safety bills arrives on the heels of a fatal accident in January. School officials and the Connecticut School Transportation Association may be concerned about a hasty reaction to this isolated incident, and passing these bills could significantly alter the way school buses operate in Connecticut.

The use of seat belts on school buses and increased penalties for bus drivers with traffic offenses would hold schools and drivers accountable, increase bus safety and reduce the amount of accidents and injuries to children while on school buses.

SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, please speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer can help answer your questions, examine the circumstances of your case and help you determine the best course of action for you and your family.