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Why No Seat Belts In US Buses Or Rail Cars?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3649 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

March /9/ 2003, a Gold & Silver tour bus ram the rear of a Hebaragi & Lemi tour bus on I-15, in this crash, 52 people was injured. March /2/ 2007, a driver of an Executive Coach Luxury Travel Inc. T2145 carrying Bluffton Baseball team, mistake a off ramp for a HOV lane and the bus went off a over pass killing 7 people and injuring 21 people.
One thing both these accidents have one thing in common, both buses, (like most buses in the United States) did not have seat belts.
Why after years of bus crashes and train derailments, there has not been a law to put seat belt in buses and rail cars? If memory serve me right, I remember that in one of the countries in Europe which I visit, the buses had seat belts.
Now there are some US coaches that has dose seat belt, for example Van Hools TD925, but it is also a double decker, so they put them on it for more safety.
Some people may say, most people today, travel by air, but there has been a rise in long distant bus tours in the last few years, and train travel is pretty popular in the east coast. So would it not be a good ideal to make highway coaches and rail cars as safe as possible? Now how can you have a safe coach or rail car, if there is no seat belts on it?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTZ757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2869 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5602 times:

Well, I would kinda agree that buses could use seat belts, but here's a thought. Most bus drivers are very experienced and drive like that should. They are also large unless they run into something of comparable size (as noted above), its not that horrendous. Buses are pretty safe compared to all other forms of road travel.

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
train travel is pretty popular in the east coast. So would it not be a good ideal to make highway coaches and rail cars as safe as possible?

See, I disagree on this one. Train travel is a pretty safe form of transportation in regards to accidents. You hear about road accidents all the time, but rail ones are few and far between. Most accidents are caused by error of the conductor or something else. Esp in the northeast, tracks are always maintained and trains have in-cab signaling to prevent any kind of error, like running into a stopped train, etc. Seat belts in trains, IMO, are not needed.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

I have always wondered that.

I take buses and trains all the time, and some buses I have been on have been so full, I would not like to know what would happen if it suddenly hit something, especially with the big window at the front, and all the steel and metal.

Have only been in one incident on a bus. At a roundabout, the car in front suddenly stopped and we rear ended it. Car was a write-off, bus was only slightly damaged, but we really felt the force of it with one lad flying off his seat.


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

As far as legal requirments go, who's respnosible to make sure everyone has their seatbelts fastened? The driver is too busy driving, so he can't constantly do checks to make sure seatbelts are being used. It would be completely impossible to make sure people are using seatbelts in transit buses. And would the driver be held liable in a crash if it was found out that passengers weren't using their seatbelts?

Theres been discussion around here about seatbelts in schoolbuses. One side thinks its a good idea and another thinks its a bad idea. One of the questions that keeps coming up is what if the bus ends up in a river or passengers are knocked out, the seatbelt can than be a serious problem.

Personally, I'm neither for or against them. If they make it legal requirments I have no problem with that, however, if they make the driver responsible for their use then I'll raise a stink.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineAerLingus747 From Ireland, joined Apr 2006, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5582 times:

In Ireland it is a requirement for coaches to have seat belts because of accidents, buy every time I go on them no one seems to wear them.

User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5576 times:



Quoting AerLingus747 (Reply 4):
In Ireland it is a requirement for coaches to have seat belts because of accidents, buy every time I go on them no one seems to wear them.

There may be a legal requirement in the coach being equipped with seatbelts however no legal requirement in their use. We have such laws for smaller buses here.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5569 times:

I much rather have a seatbelt than not, specially in high speed trains. As safe as they are, you can always do better. I don't say they should enforce them but at least make them available.

As a pilot I learned it's stupid to not have your seatbelt on at all times, no matter how smooth the ride is or how safe planes are compared to other modes of transportation.


User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7642 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5561 times:

As a driver though, you should always have your seatbelt on ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fZ0DMRyRk

... lol!



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12189 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5406 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

When I did a European Contiki tour in August last year, our coach had seat belts, but no one seemed to wear them, even though its law in the EU. The only times we had on our seatbelts was when we got stopped by the German police and when we were entering Switzerland.

User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5385 times:

Probably the answer to your question is "money" and no real support from either the public or manufacturers or lawmakers.

Seatbelts for coaches and trains would be a little more complicated than just a "retrofit" taking into consideration that for a real safety implimentation it would require more than just bolting a belt system to the floorpan. If the apparatus were to work in a real-world scenario, there would be substantial engineering upgrades required. Also read "weight" into the equation resulting in a lower GVW, hence more power and/or less passengers. For new originally-designed public vehicles these safety measures could be bench-marked at a lesser cost/performance impact on the vehicle, but again, there doesn't seem to be a public outcry to get designers and lawmakers to put this issue on their "front burner".

I can remember when FoMoCo offered a "safety" package option on their 1957 Fairlanes which included padded dash, deep dish steering wheel, seat belts and maybe another item or two and I think the company sold about a dozen  Smile or so of these options. The real sellers were the Paxton-Supercharged V-8 option. Hell, I had to install my own seat belts and outside rear view mirrors in my 1960 Impala. Nowadays, safety is a prime selling point for a new car. Not so yet in public transpo vehicles. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3649 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5245 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 7):
As a driver though, you should always have your seatbelt on ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fZ0DMRyRk

... lol!





You are so right! Big grin


User currently offlineJFKMan From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5195 times:

By law, they don't need seatbelts? That sounds wrong...


And why are we allowed stand on the bus (which I am forced to do about everyday) when you can't even sit in your car without a seat belt on?!?!? Fishy....



US / AA - JFK / TPA
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 978 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5186 times:

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 7):
As a driver though, you should always have your seatbelt on ...

Well joking aside, bus drivers in the U.S. do have seat belts and must wear them even though passengers do not.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 11):
By law, they don't need seatbelts? That sounds wrong...
And why are we allowed stand on the bus (which I am forced to do about everyday) when you can't even sit in your car without a seat belt on?!?!? Fishy....

That's because your car has 3-point safety belts which would be extremely difficult to install in a bus. Lap belts won't offer much additional safety and increase the risk of organ damage in the abdominal cavity.

Ultimately though, more passengers are killed boarding and exiting buses than in collisions. Crushing deaths are a bigger problem.

[Edited 2009-01-24 13:51:59]

User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

And to add to ACDC8s (Rep 7) and DFWRevs (Rep 12) it is pretty much a given that the operators of vehicles (ground or airborne) are always in more control of their operators functions whilst being securely at the controls.

The necessity of the operator (pilot, driver, or whatever) MUST maintain the best control of their device at all times (something that the "I don't believe in seat belts" dim-bulbs can't fathom) is an obvious. Not worthy of much, if any, debate.

Right now I can't say a whole hell of a lot more than I said in my initial reply (# 9) but am certainly open to other thesis.

BTW, will "safety" be a real concern with PAX doing a mile-higher in one of Virgin's proposed bedrooms in an A380? Just wondering. Might be almost parallel to Johnny and Kathy get getting bumped in the head when some goofball T-bones their middle-school Bluebird.

Again...just wondering....regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5163 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 3):

Theres been discussion around here about seatbelts in schoolbuses. One side thinks its a good idea and another thinks its a bad idea. One of the questions that keeps coming up is what if the bus ends up in a river or passengers are knocked out, the seatbelt can than be a serious problem.

The main argument I've heard against that was that kids could (accidentally or on purpose) hurt each other with the metal buckles.


User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3649 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5121 times:

This video shows a MCI bus crashing into a wall, the passenger had on seat belts, if they did not have on seat belts, they would flew all over the bus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrZr-QZbfxo

I believe these are three point seat belts, like the ones in cars.


User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5111 times:



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 3):
Theres been discussion around here about seatbelts in schoolbuses.

I was riding schoolbuses in the mid 90s when seatbelts became standard on new build yellow buses. I can say that most kids never used them and no adults ever made them compulsory to put on. I do remember that they became pretty gross and created trip and tangle hazards when the belts fell through the benches and onto the floor.

Personally, with regard to public transport, the traveling public is going to have to accept that there is some minute hazard in not having seat belts. Have you guys seen the seats on shuttle buses and commuter trains?... they barely get the seats clean everyday... the last thing I need to put around my waist is a gross seat belt soaked in who knows what.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineBrendan03 From Australia, joined Aug 2005, 951 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4921 times:

Hi all

Public, Local buses in Australia generally don't have seatbelts and trains never do as far as I know
However long distance coaches have seatbelts which have I think are optional for passengers but are required for operators to spec into their orders.



Coolier than thou.
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