School Bus Secured Safety

With the recent school bus accident in Houston, many people are wondering of there should be seat belts on them.  The accident on Tuesday, killed two teens.

Newschannel 6 reached out to Durham School Services about W.F.I.S.D. kids being secured on school buses and discovered, out of the 93 buses, half of them are equipped with seat belts.

Every day, Durham School Services transport about 1,500 hundred students W.F.I.S.D. to school.

"Each bus range from 30 to 65 students at a time which is split up between high school and junior high at one time and elementary at another time," said Brian Gibson, General Manager for Durham School Services.

Many of the newer buses for W.F.I.S.D. students have seatbelts while a lot of the older buses don't.

"This is one of the newer buses that we recently purchased last," said Gibson.

Gibson also said, "Texas legislation has tried to pass a law where seat belts are required, but a lot of it has to do with the limit of funding available for public school system.  At this time, even though the law was talked about, it's not an active law that has to be maintained."

For the buses that don't have seat belts, Gibson said compartmentalization will keep students safe.

"[Compartmentalization] stated by the Department of Transportation is the safest mode of transportation available.  We're sitting in a very small seat.  The front seats are padded heavily with protection.  There is an extra height so if there is an impact on the bus, all of their [students] force goes in to the seat and instead of out of the seat.  Compartmentalization does work and keeps kids in their seat without a seat belt on," said Gibson.

Gibson also said, he has one main priority with school kids on buses.

"To make sure kids are sitting in their seats with their legs front and their hands and feet out of the aisles," said Gibson.

The W.F.I.S.D. school board approved to have seven new school buses specifically for bus routes.  These buses will not have seat belts.

All Special Education and Headstart buses are required to have seat belts.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6