Are we really secure?
As posted in the August 21, 2009 edition of The Hamilton Mountain News; written by Scott Marshall:
For our entire lives we work on becoming secure. We want to be secure in our jobs, be financially secure and secure with who we are as a person. We should also be secure while we drive. As a nation, we do a good job by wearing our seatbelts regularly. Unfortunately, not all of the vehicles we ride in have seatbelts.
I had the pleasure of going on a school trip with my 2 daughters at the end of the school year. As for most school trips, we took the school bus. During this trip I paid close attention to the young kids, the teachers and the bus driver. As I also suspected, the wheels on the bus do go round and round and the people on the bus do go up and down. There was nothing holding the kids in place. Just like most kids, these kids were excited about the school trip and were bouncing around.
I’ve heard and read many times how there is additional padding in the back of the seat so as to protect the passenger from serious injury if they move forward. This isn’t good enough. The metal framing around the windows, plus the glass itself, can cause serious injury to a child. While we were on our 35 minute excursion, I watched the driver concentrate on his driving, but not check his mirror very often to see what his passengers were doing. This is a good thing because that distraction alone can cause the driver to make serious driving errors. He needed to concentrate on his driving and I’m glad he was. The problem was the lack of restraints for the passengers.
I recently read how 3 kids were injured when the school bus rolled over. There’s nothing to keep the kids secure in their seats if this happens. I know the roll over is a rare event for school buses, but my concern is a sudden stop or swerve. It’s obvious to me that these passengers can be seriously injured on the bus. On our school trip, I saw how the kids were sitting; on the front edge of the seat, or sitting sideways to talk with their friend. A sudden change of direction would mean that child would smack into the window, across the aisle or into a metal frame. These types of injuries can be prevented.
We do many things now to protect our kids. We ensure they wear a helmet when they ride their bike and skateboard. We never did that as a kid. We supervise them at the park a lot longer in life than we used to. So if were changing with the times, why not change the safety features in the school bus? Considering all of the safety features we now have in our passenger vehicles, why not move into those changes for school buses?
We need to protect our future; our kids. I think it’s time to install seatbelts in these buses. After all, as adults we should know better.