School Bus Fleet

October 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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55 O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T bearing on purchasing decisions, es- pecially when faced with budgetary constraints." NAPT and NSTA understand that these statements don't bring perfect resolution to this long-standing issue, and some ambiguity remains. We re- gret this and will continue to try ear- nestly to seek clarity for you from federal regulators. Moreover, we want to replace with unequivocal science-based informa- tion the emotional arguments and personal opinions that sometimes dominate the conversation on this subject. Until such time, however, NSTA and NAPT are confdent that states, communities and local school transportation service providers will continue to make decisions that keep yellow school buses as the absolutely safest way for children to get to and from school, and indispensable to our public education system. agree with those asking us to propose to require seat belts on large school buses. We assessed the safety need for seat belts. Since school buses are already very safe and are the safest mode of school transportation, a seat belt mandate would result in very few benefts." • "We determined that it would be inappropriate for NHTSA to require seat belts given the low safety need for the belts, when such a decision has a direct bearing on the ability of the local decision-makers to allocate and spend limited pupil transporta- tion resources on other school trans- portation safety needs that are likely to garner greater benefts, perhaps at lower cost." • "It is true that seat belts have been proven benefcial in rollover crashes. However, real world data show that school bus passenger fa- talities and injuries in rollover events are rare. The CAS petition cites two school bus accidents in support of its position that there is a safety need for seat belts on large school buses. We cannot agree that citing these rare in- stances of fatal rollover crashes forms the basis for a fnding of a problem of national signifcance that warrants trumping local policymaking on this matter." • "We believe that it is most ap- propriate if the decision to order seat belts on large school buses were left to the States and local jurisdictions rather than to NHTSA. States and lo- cal school districts are better able to recognize and analyze school trans- portation risks particular to their ar- eas and identify approaches to best manage and reduce those safety risks. Local offcials are in the best position to decide whether to purchase seat belts, since the offcials must weigh a multitude of unique considerations

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