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Kalispell not looking to add seat belts to their school buses

Posted at 8:17 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 12:59:33-05
Kalispell School Buses
The Kalispell School District isn’t planning to add seat belts to theit fleet of buses. (MTN News photo)

KALISPELL – The Helena School District already implemented seat belts in their school buses and Missoula presented this idea at the school board meeting last week. Will Kalispell be next?

MTN News spoke with Kalispell Superintendent Mark Flatau who said the District has not looked into getting seat belts for their school buses.

When asked why Flatau said the district doesn’t see a pressing need right now. Currently, school buses are built like compartments, with high cushioned seats to prevent injuries on impact.

New seat belts would go over the shoulders, like a harness preventing students from getting ejected during a rollover. However, even without harness seat belts, school buses are safe.

“The most safe ground transportation in the United States is school bus transportation. The numbers, kids are much safer riding school bus than riding with their parent or guardian to school. Just from a statistical safety standpoint,” said Flatau.

His statement is backed by the US Department of Transportation which reports that school buses are more than 70 times more likely to get to school safely than a car.

The US DOT also regulates school buses more than any other vehicle on the road. Therefore, keeping the safety of students the highest priority.