Transportation FAQ's

How do we ensure safety for all buses in Thomas County?

Buses are inspected monthly by bus mechanics and annually by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) who randomly selects and inspects our buses.  School bus drivers perform a pre-trip inspection daily.

 

How can I change my child's bus stop or find out which bus my child needs to ride?

If your residence should change, please notify the Transportation Office at (229) 227-3187.  Mr. Young will be happy to assist you with any route changes.

 

When should I stop for a school bus?

Please click here to review the law regarding stopping for school buses.  This information is provided by Operation Stop Arm (www.operationstoparm.info).

 

Why are seatbelts not on school buses?

  • Seat belts have been required on passenger cars since 1968.  Forty-nine States and the District of Columbia have enacted laws requiring the wearing of seat belts in passenger cars and light trucks.  There is no question that seat belts play an important role in keeping occupants safe in these vehicles, however school buses are different by design and use a different kind of safety restraint system that works extremely well.

 

  • Large school buses are heavier and distribute crash forces differently than do passenger cars and light trucks.  Because of these differences, the crash forces experienced by occupants of buses are much less than that experienced by occupants of passenger cars, light trucks or vans.  NHTSA decided that the best way to provide crash protection to passengers of large school buses is through a concept called “compartmentalization.”  This requires that the interior of large buses provide occupant protection such that children are protected without the need to buckle-up.  Through compartmentalization, occupant crash protection is provided by a protective envelope consisting of strong, closely-spaced seats that have energy-absorbing seat backs.

 

  • Small school buses (with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less) must be equipped with lap and/or lap/shoulder belts at all designated seating positions.  Since the sizes and weights of small school buses are closer to those of passenger cars and trucks, seat belts in those vehicles are necessary to provide occupant protection.

 

  • School bus crash data show that compartmentalization has been effective at protecting school bus passengers.  NHTSA’s 2002 Report to Congress[1]  found that the addition of lap belts did not improve occupant protection for the severe frontal impacts that were studied for that report.

 

  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have come to similar conclusions.  The NTSB concluded in a 1987 study of school bus crashes that most fatalities and injuries occurred because the occupant seating positions were in direct line with the crash forces.[2  NTSB stated that seat belts would not have prevented most of the serious injuries and fatalities from occurring in school bus crashes.  In 1989, the NAS completed a study of ways to improve school bus safety and concluded that the overall potential benefits of requiring seat belts on large school buses were insufficient to justify a Federal mandate for installation.[3] NAS also stated that the funds used to purchase and maintain seat belts might be better spent on other school bus safety programs and devices that could save more lives and reduce more injuries.

 

[1] School Bus Safety:  Crashworthiness Research, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April 2002.

[2] Crashworthiness of Large Poststandard School Buses, National Transportation Safety Board, March 1987.

[3] Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Special Report 222, Improving School Bus Safety, 1989.

Nhtsa.gov Seatbelts on School Buses May 2006.