Should Seat Belts Be Required On The Bus?

Riding the bus is a relatively safe way to get from point A to B, but a new proposal under consideration by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would seek to make it even safer by requiring new motorcoaches — as opposed to municipal or school buses — to provide seat belts for all passengers on board.

Over the last decade, fatalities in motorcoaches average 2.5 per 100 million passengers. NHTSA believes they can cut the number of deaths and injuries resulting from motorcoach rollovers by installing the lap and shoulder belts in all seats, but only on new coaches.

Cost is one of the main reasons for not requiring the nearly 30,000 motorcoaches to be retrofitted for seat belts. NHTSA estimates it could cost upwards of $34,000/bus to make the required seating and structural changes for installing the safety belts. Meanwhile, it would only add around $12,900/bus to the cost of motorcoaches that haven’t rolled off the assembly line.

NHTSA is currently seeking public comment on the proposal until October 18, 2010 on regulations.gov.

If the proposed regulation is enacted, it will still take three years to take effect.

Click here to download the entire PDF from NHTSA

NHTSA announces proposal to require seatbelts on motorcoaches [Consumer Reports]