Yellow, long school buses are a thing in our society. Ever stopped for once to think: C’mon why Yellow? Why no seat belts for those playful kids.
Every morning you see that yellow, long bus that picks up your neighbor’s playful kid and you always notice him jumping and screaming with his friends behind that weird long truck that looks like a mystical grasshopper from the 80s. You can’t mistake a school bus for any kind of transportation, the iconic and legendary yellow sparks in your eyes like gold.
Do you know? The color is officially named,” national school bus chrome yellow.” The idea was formulated for use on school buses in North America in 1939. The reason for using yellow is obvious: Safety.
Why not seat belt?
So we have drawn a conclusion that Safety was the primary concern when using Yellow for the school bus. Then why don’t these buses lack a seat belt? But guess what, for a school bus to require a seat belt it must be lower than a certain weight- which is less than 10,000 pounds. But others that weigh more than that aren’t required by law to have a seat belt installed in the buses.
These might not sound logical at first cause when you think of the bus moving so fast with kids of different ages running and playing uncontrollably on the bus, but the weight of a bus is very important and the heavier the bus is the safer it is in collisions, also passengers seats are very high from the ground. Research has also proven that school buses are 40 times safer than the usual family car.
About 440,000 public school buses carry 24 million children more than 4.3 billion miles a year, but only about six children die each year in bus accidents, according to annual statistics compiled the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 800 children, by contrast, die every year walking, biking or being driven to school in cars or other passenger vehicles, said Ron Medford, the agency’s deputy director. Source
School buses have been designed to be very safe for children as they have high backs and lots of cushioning. The seats are also tightly packed to achieve what is called compartmentalization. If there is a crash or whatsoever, the seats are designed to absorb most of the pressure from the crash thereby protecting the children who sit in them.
Also adding seat belts can be way costly and even there have been numerous debates on which kind of seat belt is best adopted in school buses as these little children tend to move from one spot to the other frequently, also nobody can guarantee the kids would even adhere to this rule if they are fixed in school buses. We also can’t ask drivers to enforce those rules as they would be busy with driving the buses around.
Specialists also note that adding seat belts to these school buses would also reduce the number of children that a bus can actually transport at a time which would force kids to seek for other means of transportations which have been noted to be far more dangerous than the intial school bus itself.
Also published on Medium.