Idahoans take pride in the safety of their children. Many citizens, especially parents, tend to think of school buses as the Gold Standard in transportation safety. But are they?

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has us questioning why the heck our school buses don't have seat belts.

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash
Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Limitations of Compartmentalization

While statistically safe, the National Transportation Safety Board presentation at the National Conference of State Legislatures pointed out a major flaw with compartmentalization designs on school buses.

Their findings on lateral impacts between school buses and large/commercial trucks left us horrified. In short, a hard-enough side impact can easily cause a school bus to rollover.

If that happens, it's likely children will be ejected from their "compartment," and placed in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Seatbelts are sounding pretty good right about now, aren't they?

Photo by Maximilian Simson on Unsplash // Canva
Photo by Maximilian Simson on Unsplash // Canva

Will Idaho upgrade school bus safety measures?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an average of six students are killed on school buses every year.

Though much smaller than the number of children killed in car crashes annually, isn't the loss of one child one too many? We think so. And data from the CDC also makes a strong case for seatbelting school bus riders.

In 2021, 711 child passengers ages 12 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States,1 and in 2020 more than 63,000 were injured.2 Of the children who were killed in a crash, 36% were not buckled up.

With school buses traveling nearly 6 billion miles a year, who wouldn't want Idaho's most precious cargo safely restrained on the open road?

Photo by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash
Photo by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash

Idaho children are worth it. 

That sweet girl's smile alone is more than enough to push for seat belts on school buses. Our kids' lives are worth infinitely more than any cost or inconvenience it would take to pull it off.

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If you're new to Idaho, welcome!

Before you buckle up and hit the road, make sure you're aware of the Gem State's strangest road rules! From school bus concerns to how to handle horses in traffic, scroll for a list of helpful things to know behind the wheel in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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