Pulaski High School bus crash sparks debate seat belt safety on buses

By WeAreGreenBay.com

Published 09/03 2014 05:05PM

Updated 09/03 2014 11:16PM

PULASKI, Wis. (WFRV)-- “Why wouldn’t they have a seat  belt?”asks Skyler Adamski.

That’s the question many parents are asking following Tuesday’s school bus crash that sent at least six Pulaski High School students to the hospital. 

Under state law, buses aren’t required to have seat belts and that has many asking why?

Donna Kerr said, “I think of those little children, those little bodies flying around in there and the thought of that just horrifies me.”

In an emergency situation, ensuring everyone gets off the bus as quickly as possible is the top priority. 

Alan Wood, the Fleet Coordinator for the Pulaski Community School District said, “They don’t want to be using seat belts because in the event of a roll over or a water incident or a fire, you’d be relying on the driver to cut those belts to get everybody out.”

Robert Vanderbloemen said he understands that reasoning: “You’ve seen it on T.V. where there are buses in rivers.  To go through every single person on the bus and make sure everyone gets out of there, it’s safer without.”

The School District said even going 60mph, passengers would be protected.

“The idea is that if they get bounced around at best, you might get a bump or a bruise, where if you were seat belted in, and you’re caught in that belt, now the trouble is you’ll have a harder time getting out," said Wood.

The buses are designed to insulate passengers. 

Even if a bus were to tip over, if passengers were wearing seat belts they could be trapped dangling from the ceiling.

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