Seat belts on school buses coming to a Northeast Ohio district as a pilot project

Part of the project will be to run evacuation drills to see if it slows a student’s escape.

Seat belts on school buses coming to a Northeast Ohio district as a pilot project

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -In just a few weeks, Avon Lake City Schools will receive two brand new, $90,000 school buses that will be the first in its fleet to come equipped with seat belt.

Avon Lake will join Beachwood City Schools as the only two in Ohio, to include buses with the restraints.

To be clear, all buses under 10,000 pounds are required by law to include seat belts, but those are the smaller vehicles.

These are the first large, 70 passenger buses, to include three seat belts positions in every seat.

“Buses are the safest way to get kids to and from school because of the way they are built,” Avon Lake Superintendent Bob Scott said. “But rollovers and side impacts cans really have a negative impact on the kids.”

The Superintendent said they’ve have received no negative comments about this project that’s been in the works for two years.

“After the fact it’s too late,” Scott said about any accident where someone wished they has put on a seat belt.

With just two buses being added to their fleet Scott said these won’t initially be used as everyday buses.

“Our pilot is going to be times where we get up a little speed. Like fields trips, sporting events, trips where we’re on the highway,” Scott said.

There will also be emergency drills run to see how the belts impact a students ability to get off a bus quickly.

“Every school district runs drills, it’s a requirement,” Scott said. “So We’ll be able to compare evacuations of both seat belt and non-seat belt buses.”

Scott estimated the added cost to each bus for the restraints is around $6,000.

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