Editorial: The cost of keeping our children safe on the school b - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Editorial: The cost of keeping our children safe on the school bus

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)

Last week there was another frightening and deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga that left 6 children dead, and dozens hurt.

We have asked before why we do not require seat belts in our local school buses, and we are continuing to ask why has this not been done.

Again, a simulation of a bus roll over shows children that are seat belted staying put, while those children without seat belts go flying.

Already six states in the U.S. require seat belts, but the National Highway Safety Administration wants to improve that.

The major hurdle they say, is the cost. They estimate it would cost $2.5 billion to equip every school bus in the nation with seat belts.

Let's bring it down to our local level. It costs about $16 to install one seat belt. That's $16 per child to potentially save their life.

Ask your local school board to do the math, depending on how many buses are now in operation.

For Dougherty County, 150 buses would cost an estimated $137,000. For Lee County, outfitting their buses would cost an estimated $107,000.

How silly, even negligent to require the bus driver be seat belted but not our children.

I hope you agree this is a small price to pay to be sure our children are safely buckled up on their trips to and from school.

These school boards work for us, these are our tax dollars to spend as we direct, and it is our children we should require them to better protect.

Help us continue to press for this necessary change.

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