Buckling down for safety in school buses - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Buckling down for safety in school buses

Posted: Updated:
It's currently not a law in many states for these buses to include seatbelts It's currently not a law in many states for these buses to include seatbelts
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Most school buses don't have them and now our country's top highway safety officer wants that to change.  We're talking about adding car-like seatbelts to school buses.

The new appeal for action on board our buses comes with some unfortunate new numbers.  Roughly 25 million kids ride a school bus every day.  The American Academy of Pediatrics reports 7,200 children are hurt each year in crashes, and four kids die because of them. 

Only six states require seatbelts on large school buses, Washington and Idaho are not among them.  Only Texas and California require three point seatbelts. 

It's currently not a law in many states for these buses to include seatbelts and previously the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it would be very costly to make that happen.   NHTSA has said that local officials are in the best position to decide whether or not to make that change. 

"Our buses are extremely safe," says Kirk Tostenrude, Transportation Supervisor for Spokane schools.  "They're designed like tanks to keep the children safe."    

With breakaway sides, reinforced front and back ends, and seats set up as compartments, Tostenrude says buses are the safest way for kids to get to school.   

Now the NHTSA is trying to take that safety to the next level by encouraging local jurisdictions to retrofit school buses with seatbelts.

"There's more research at a national level that's going on," says Tostenrude, who adds that like most things, seatbelts on buses have their ups and downs. 

"In a severe accident if there were injuries, if the driver was incapacitated, then all the students would have to be cut out of the seatbelts," says Tostenrude. 

He believes the safety of children who rides buses is impacted largely by how cautious other drivers are.  "We need everyone to be safe and recognize that the yellow school bus is caution and our babies are on there."

Right now Spokane school district is waiting for more research before they make a decision on seatbelts in buses.  Cheney and Central Valley have said they are looking at funding and will be discussing the issue in the future. 

None of the school districts that we spoke to in the area are making immediate changes.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Spokane police investigating after unknown drug responsible for fatality and 20 calls

    Spokane police investigating after unknown drug responsible for fatality and 20 calls

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 12:23 AM EDT2018-08-15 04:23:12 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say they saw a dramatic increase in drug related calls on Tuesday. Police say at least one person has died and officers responded to almost 20 other calls of people acting erratically. Police are looking into whether there is a drug on the street that is "creating adverse health effects." Reported behavior is consistent with a stimulant, causing people to hallucinate and act in an unpredictable and sometimes violent manner.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say they saw a dramatic increase in drug related calls on Tuesday. Police say at least one person has died and officers responded to almost 20 other calls of people acting erratically. Police are looking into whether there is a drug on the street that is "creating adverse health effects." Reported behavior is consistent with a stimulant, causing people to hallucinate and act in an unpredictable and sometimes violent manner.

    >>
  • FireBoss plane crashes fighting the Horns Mountain fire in northeast Washington

    FireBoss plane crashes fighting the Horns Mountain fire in northeast Washington

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 1:47 AM EDT2018-08-15 05:47:20 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - The Department of Natural Resources reports that a FireBoss airplane has crashed in northeast Washington. There aren't a lot of details released right now, but we do know that the pilot did survive the crash. The pilot was working on the Horns Mountain fire, burning about 838 acres near Northport, close to the US/Canada border.

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - The Department of Natural Resources reports that a FireBoss airplane has crashed in northeast Washington. There aren't a lot of details released right now, but we do know that the pilot did survive the crash. The pilot was working on the Horns Mountain fire, burning about 838 acres near Northport, close to the US/Canada border.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Idaho couple's birthday cave adventure turned into rescue

    Idaho couple's birthday cave adventure turned into rescue

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:12 PM EDT2018-08-15 18:12:52 GMT
    Photo: Spencer ChristiansenPhoto: Spencer Christiansen

    JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - An Idaho couple who got lost inside a mazelike ice cave in Wyoming for nearly two days before being rescued had planned the adventure as a fun way to celebrate the husband's birthday.    Spencer Christiansen, who turned 31 on Saturday, said the best part about being rescued from the Darby Canyon Ice Case was when the rescue team sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

    >>

    JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - An Idaho couple who got lost inside a mazelike ice cave in Wyoming for nearly two days before being rescued had planned the adventure as a fun way to celebrate the husband's birthday.    Spencer Christiansen, who turned 31 on Saturday, said the best part about being rescued from the Darby Canyon Ice Case was when the rescue team sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

    >>
  • Republicans blast Pearl Jam poster of burning White House

    Republicans blast Pearl Jam poster of burning White House

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 1:57 PM EDT2018-08-15 17:57:38 GMT

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Republicans are condemning a poster by Pearl Jam that shows the White House in flames and a bald eagle pecking at a skeleton they say is meant to depict President Donald Trump.    The National Republican Senate Committee and Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale both compared the poster to the now-infamous photo of the comedian Kathy Griffin holding a fake decapitated Trump head.

    >>

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Republicans are condemning a poster by Pearl Jam that shows the White House in flames and a bald eagle pecking at a skeleton they say is meant to depict President Donald Trump.    The National Republican Senate Committee and Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale both compared the poster to the now-infamous photo of the comedian Kathy Griffin holding a fake decapitated Trump head.

    >>
  • Phoenix father faces murder charges for beating man who tried to get into daughter's bathroom stall

    Phoenix father faces murder charges for beating man who tried to get into daughter's bathroom stall

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 1:44 PM EDT2018-08-15 17:44:40 GMT
    Maricopa County Sheriff's OfficeMaricopa County Sheriff's Office

    PHOENIX - A father in Phoenix is facing a murder charge for allegedly beating a man to death after the man followed his daughter into a store bathroom. According to police documents, Melvin Harris III admitted to punching a man on August 2 outside a QuikTrip gas station. Harris had gone to the convenience store to pick up his daughter and friends when a man asked him for money in the parking lot, police say.

    >>

    PHOENIX - A father in Phoenix is facing a murder charge for allegedly beating a man to death after the man followed his daughter into a store bathroom. According to police documents, Melvin Harris III admitted to punching a man on August 2 outside a QuikTrip gas station. Harris had gone to the convenience store to pick up his daughter and friends when a man asked him for money in the parking lot, police say.

    >>