Schoolchildren across the state of Washington rely on buses in order to get them to school and back home each day. For many parents, a school bus is a lifesaver. It cuts back on the amount of time parents need to spend taking the children to and from school. School buses have also proved to be one of the safest ways for children to get to and from school each day.
However, unlike smaller vehicles, many school buses are not equipped with child safety restraint systems. This can leave some people questioning whether not school buses should be using the systems at all.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are transporting younger kids at a much higher rate than in the past. In fact, the number of preschool age children that are using school buses is at an all-time high. For preschool children, who are much smaller and younger, child safety restraints may be appropriate.
According to the NHSTA, infants need to be in rear facing child safety seats until they are at least 20 pounds and one year of age. Children who are over 20 pounds and are older than one year also need to be in some sort of child restraint system. In fact, the NHTSA recommends that these children be forward facing with a full harness until the child is at least 40 pounds. This could include a convertible car seat or a booster seat. Integrated seatbelts may also be used for children who are larger than 20 pounds.
It is important that school bus companies and drivers understand how young children should be restrained in school buses. If safety rules are not followed, children could be seriously injured in a school bus accident. When a bus accident occurs, it is important for bus accident victims to understand their legal rights. These victims may have the right to take legal action in order to seek compensation for their injuries. For specific legal advice about school bus accidents, people should speak with an attorney.