[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Buses need safer designs

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Buses need safer designs

This is with reference to your article under the heading, “Teachers recognized for bravery” (April 18).
It’s a wonderful thing that teachers at the school for the disabled are trained and accept selflessly the responsibility for caring for the children in the school.
I am sure that is a great comfort to the parents, especially in the case of the disabled. In reading the article, the facts seem to indicate that the bus was not equipped with seatbelts.
School buses, in every country, appear to be the last to benefit from laws and design for safety.
Accidents and injury rates indicate that if school buses were equipped with side protection ― steel shields running the length of the bus on either side ― and seatbelts, a lot of lives could be saved and a lot of injuries prevented.
Perhaps in putting out its request for bids for new buses, the South Jeolla Education Office can specify side protection and seatbelts.
To those who would say that children resist using seatbelts, as being too restrictive of their movements, I would reply: Children learn what they are taught.
If from day one at the school children are required to use seatbelts, they will use them. They cannot have a choice, any more than our families should have a choice when riding in the family car.

by Steve Stupak
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