Yesterday, a school bus and another vehicle crashed in Frederick, Maryland at Route 355 and New Technology Way. Three people were injured as a result of the accident. Fortunately, none of the injured included children because the bus was empty at the time of the accident. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation.
This is yet another accident involving a school bus, which is a phenomenon that continues to increase in frequency. Currently, there is much debate going on concerning seatbelts on school buses. Many parents and officials believe that school buses should have seatbelts because they transport children of all ages who can easily be injured if the bus is involved in an accident. Without seatbelts on school buses, when a bus is involved in an accident, there is absolutely nothing to keep the children from being flung all over the bus. Just recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time is recommending school buses install three-point seatbelts. In prior years, officials at the NHTSA had a firm stance that seatbelts were not necessary on school buses because they were safe without them. There still is no federal law requiring seatbelts on school buses, but this change in the stance of the NHTSA on seatbelts in school buses is important to acknowledge. It is certainly a step in the right direction to better protect our children on school buses.
Right now, it is up to individual states and school district to decide whether to install seatbelts on buses. While the cost is high to add seatbelts to all school buses, it is small in comparison to the loss of innocent children’s’ lives. It will be interesting to see how states respond to this change on the idea of seatbelts on school buses. Maryland officials have indicated they do not have plans to require seatbelts on school buses any time soon. As more and more accidents involving school buses occur across the state, and more and more children are injured or killed in these accidents, maybe Maryland officials will change their stance on seatbelts as well.
If you have a child that has been injured or killed in a school bus accident due to the negligence or fault of another person and would like to consult an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney for free, contact us at (855) 954-4141 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Frederick or throughout Maryland or visit us online.