School bus seat belts issue may be over
Parents have been the predominate school bus safety advocates resulting in many of the safety devices now on America's school buses. Poll after poll on the seat belt issue has shown parents overwhelmingly favor seat belts on the buses. IMMI, a leading manufacturer of child-safety restraint systems has developed SafeGuard(TM) School Bus Safety Seats with lap and shoulder belts that resolve many of the issues discounting the use of seat belts on school buses. The demand from parents and this new product may soon be a combination too great for the industry to resist much longer. (jk)
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Original story title, First-Of-Its-Kind Safety Seat Reassures Parents, Released June 07, 2001, PRNews Service, Copyright ©2001, All Rights Reserved.
First-Of-Its-Kind Safety Seat Reassures Parents
WESTFIELD, Ind. - In a national survey, eight out of
ten parents whose children ride the school bus think that lap and shoulder
belts should be required on school buses. And according to data from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) their concerns are well
founded. School bus occupant fatalities in 2000 nearly doubled from 1999 and
injuries increased by 1,000. In response to heightened awareness of child
safety, IMMI, the leading manufacturer of child-safety restraint systems has
developed SafeGuard(TM) School Bus Safety Seats with lap and shoulder belts.
SafeGuard is the first school bus seat designed with lap and shoulder seat
belts similar to the seat belts in automobiles. SafeGuard has an easy-to-use,
shoulder-belt adjuster that makes the seat comfortable for kindergartners,
high school students and adults. SafeGuard also provides protection for
unbelted children in a frontal crash, which allows the school bus to meet the
current standard of compartmentalization (FMVSS 222). Compartmentalization
was designed in 1977 primarily to protect unbelted children in a frontal
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IMMI listened to parents concerns about unprotected children on school
buses for years. Safety-conscious parents leave the hospital with infants in a
child safety seat and continue the buckle-up message with toddlers and on to
booster seats. Ironically, the safety message is lost when children begin
school and buses are not equipped with lap and shoulder belts.
"A lap shoulder belt will give you better protection in frontal crashes
and it will also give you effective protection in side impact crashes and
rollover." According to Brian O'Neill, President of the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety, "So, the ideal solution for the school bus is
compartmentalization, plus a good lap and shoulder belt."
IMMI introduced SafeGuard to attendees of the International Child
Passenger Safety Technical Conference (ICPSTC) held June 2-6 in Indianapolis,
by conducting a crash test of a full-size school bus outfitted with belted and
unbelted crash-test dummies into a crash barrier. The crash test was conducted
on June 4, at the Center for Product Evaluation (CAPE), a division of IMMI.
The results clearly showed crash-test dummies restrained with a lap and
shoulder belt were less likely to sustain serious injury.
"A child in a rollover crash in a school bus
is not protected with the current standard."
-- Harry Templin, Director of CAPE
The school bus rollover impact test, conducted on CAPE's one-of-a-kind
rollover test machine, demonstrated how vulnerable children could be in a
school bus rollover crash. The unbelted crash dummies in the test left their
seats and struck the roof of the school bus, sustaining serious injuries,
while the belted crash dummies in the SafeGuard seat were safely restrained.
IMMI ROLLOVER TEST
"Unbelted children in a school bus rollover crash are very vulnerable,
they look quite similar to clothes tumbling in a dryer as the bus rolls," says
Harry Templin, Director of CAPE. "A child in a rollover crash in a school bus
is not protected with the current standard. What concerns IMMI is that only
40% of all school bus crashes involve the front of the bus, leaving children
unprotected without lap and shoulder belts."
The school bus barrier crash for ICPSTC attendees demonstrated five years
of extensive research and over six hundred hours of testing on SafeGuard.
Developmental research at CAPE included rollover impact, crash barrier, sled,
ride, and durability testing. IMMI engineers also met with parents, safety
advocates, state legislatures, school bus manufacturers and school
transportation directors listening to all their concerns about child passenger
safety on school buses.
School districts will be able to order the SafeGuard School Bus Seat in
the fall of 2001 and parents and children can look for the SafeGuard School
Bus Seat on school buses in the fall of 2002. -- IMMI Website. -- Real Player Bus Crash Test Video. --
More Real Player Bus Crash Test Videos.
See Also: School bus seat belts issue heating up
DEATH AT THE SCHOOL BUS STOP - what happens, how it happens and how to prevent it
More kids die at their bus stop, many run over by their own school bus, than die in the 55,000 school bus crashes that occur in the United States each year. 2safeschools looks at how parents and school staff can help prevent death at the school bus stop. Click Here for: Death at the school bus stop. Click Here for: 2safeschools Press Release. Click Here for: Free training presentation.
DEATH AT THE SCHOOL BUS STOP