The recent horrific Chattanooga bus crash has many people concerned about school bus safety, and how to ensure the safety of their children. In the recent crash, five children were killed, and more than twenty others were sent to the hospital. Police said the 24-year-old driver, Johnthony Walker, was driving well over the posted 30 mph speed limit, losing control. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the accident. The driver has been charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and vehicular homicide.
One of the questions raised is whether school busess be required to have seat belts. Under current federal law, seat belts are not required. Only six states requires seatbelts - Florida, New Jersey, California, Louisiana, New York and Texas. Hawaii does not. While the investigation has not determined whether the use of belts could have saved lives in this instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated in general, the use of seat belts save lives. A spokesperson noted, ”School buses should have seat belts. Period. It should be utterly uncontroversial — there is no question that seat belts offer improved safety.” Bus companies have resisted installing the belts as cost prohibitive and argue that the way the buses are designed offers adequate protections to its passengers. Following this tragedy, this issue will likley recieve significant attention in order to improve school bus safety.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, please contact the experienced Hawaii personal injury lawyers at Bostwick Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.