Why buses don’t have seat belts

Published 9:11 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

I was asked recently why buses don’t have seatbelts, or, for pre-school buses, car seats. This has been brought up for many years, even in the child passenger safety classes we teach to new car seat technicians.

The magic reason for this is called compartmentalization. The design of the bus seats makes this possible. I remember growing up and riding a bus with metal bars on the seat in front of me at face-level. Now the seats in front of a passenger are padded well and slightly higher. The seat in front is also close to the passenger behind it, thus creating a egg carton effect with all the bus passengers sitting properly in the seats.

These bright yellow school buses are still the safest way to get to school. Currently only six states require seat belts on yellow school buses and that doesn’t include Michigan. The most pressing concern when it comes to mandatory seat belts for police is enforcement. “How do we ensure the safety belts are worn by the occupants? Because there are not going to be as effective if they are improperly worn,” said Michigan State Police Sgt. Mike McLaughlin.

On some smaller buses, such as for pre-school students, there may be the capability to install the car seats, but with non-seat technicians, it would be just as safe leaving the children to sit in the seats.

There are buses for special needs that do not have to activate the red lights while putting the child in a special harness. Most new buses are now being made with seatbelt or car seat installation hookups, such as anchor points.

There is a new law taking effect Dec. 1, 2015, concerning concealed pistol licenses. Under the new law, it is the responsibility of the county clerk to issue a CPL to an applicant who is not statutorily disqualified to receive a CPL under the Firearms Act (1927 PA 372) within 45 days of when classifiable fingerprints are taken. The Michigan State Police will verify through the Law Enforcement Information Network and National Instant Criminal Background Check System that the applicant meets certain statutory requirements and will report all statutory disqualifications to the county clerk.

County concealed weapon licensing boards that previously performed this verification process will cease to exist, and official documents held by these boards will be transferred to the county clerk of the county in which the board was located. All pending applications remain in place, are considered to have a Dec. 1, 2015 application date and shall be processed by the county clerk as provided in law. Any valid CPL issued before Dec. 1, 2015, will continue to be in effect until the expiration of the CPL or as otherwise provided by law.Other changes include an initial application and licensing fee of $100 and a renewal application and licensing fee of $115.

Individuals who wish to apply for a CPL may obtain a free concealed pistol application kit from the county clerk during normal business hours. Such kits include the application form and additional information regarding the procedures for obtaining a CPL.


Any questions or comments please contact me at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or call (269) 683-4411.