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This Is What's Keeping Your Child From Being As Safe As Possible On The School Bus

NOVEMBER 30, 2016  —  By Hannah Austin

After a devastating school bus wreck in Chattanooga, Tennessee, left multiple children dead, bus safety has been at the front of parents' minds. How can we prevent a tragedy like this from happening again?

The crash took place on Monday, November 21. The driver, Johnthony Walker, lost control of the bus before flipping it over and wrapping the vehicle around a tree. It's estimated that he was going well over the 30 mph speed limit. Although it's been determined that drugs and alcohol were not a factor, Walker is being charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and vehicular homicide. This accident has horrific implications for the nature of bus safety nationwide.

When first repsonders arrived to the scene, it was immediately clear that there had been fatalities. It took them two hours to remove all the children from the bus. Five were pronounced dead on the scene and several more were transferred to ICU.

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According to the children, Walker sped up the bus before asking them, "Is everyone here ready to die?" One parent admitted that her son had complained about him speeding before.

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher called the accident "every public safety professional's worst nightmare." But could it have been avoided?

Some reports suggest that speeding is a real problem for school bus drivers across the country. The culprit? Not completing their routes on time.

Getty Images

Compounding that issue is that as of now, only five states require school buses to provide seat belts. The general consensus is that it would be too expensive and have little impact on child safety.

However, this video shows exactly what happens inside a school bus wreck. As you'll see, the dummies wearing seat belts sustain little trauma, while those without belts go flying around the vehicle.


To learn more about this deadly wreck and the continuing seat belt debate, check out the video below. As the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, "We know that seat belts will save lives if we put one for every kid on every school bus."


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If installing seat belts on school buses saved even one life, it would be worth it. Does your state require seat belts on buses? Let us know in the comments.

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