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To think seatbelts on public buses should be compulsory!

(40 Posts)
MilaMae Thu 23-Oct-08 11:22:05

To cut a long story short DD and I were travelling on a public bus. The driver had to break suddenly DD 3 flew off her seat and under several seats. How on earth she managed to not break anything I'll never know.

The driver and DD were both very upset. It wasn't his fault at all, he had to break. I don't know how bus companies are getting away with this it's very dangerous.

DD and I won't be doing it again, I'll be driving, it cost a fortune for a 10 min journey anyway

angry.

onager Thu 23-Oct-08 11:30:07

I always wondered about that. Apparently a kid in a car without a belt is evil, but a bus doesn't count.

2shoesdrippingwithblood Thu 23-Oct-08 11:31:29

Yanbu
I feel the same about the poxy wheelchair spaces. image what would happen in an accident

Tigurr Thu 23-Oct-08 11:33:03

On our buses here the wheelchair space has a seatbelt, to secure the wheelchair (or pram/pushchair if they're using it)... but nope, nothing for children.

Makes it a bit confusing for DD as we nearly always travel by bus so having to wear a seat belt in a car is a bit of a foreign concept to her!

Upwind Thu 23-Oct-08 11:34:35

I reckon in terms of risk your DD is probably safer on the bus with no safety belt than in a car with one. So YABU, but I am sorry you've had a dreadful fright.

By the way, there was uproar in Edinburgh when they tried to ban big prams on buses, partly on safety grounds because the babies are in no way strapped in and the prams not secured. So long as it is normal for buses to cater for standing passengers, I guess the assumption is you just hold on as best you can. Buses are very rarely involved in accidents, at least when compared to cars. And if they are their size protects passengers to some extent.

2shoesdrippingwithblood Thu 23-Oct-08 11:35:44

the seatbelt alone would not secure a wheelchair, it needs to be locked into the floor

nellynaemates Thu 23-Oct-08 11:37:13

I 100% agree, although I think there would be a problem in getting people to use them.

I know that on some coaches seatbelts have become compulsory (not local bus services) and although most bus drivers don't give a hoot I've had a couple make an announcement at the beginning of the journey that everyone must wear a seatbelt.

Bus drivers in my area have to go around a particularly big corner on the way into town (they usually go round too fast for my liking) and when I was sitting with ds on my knee when he was really little and there was no space for the buggy I was absolutely terrified.

BalloonSlayer Thu 23-Oct-08 11:41:01

I always thought that there were two reasons for no seatbelts on buses/trains.

1. They are very big and in an ordinary collision with anything else would be unlikely to stop dead, ie they would be the heavier thing and would stop slowly whereas the thing they had hit would be destroyed or pushed backwards. Therefore the classic "car driving into a brick wall" scenario used in seatbelt testing would never occur.

2. If they had seatbelts then standing passengers would not be allowed. Therefore removing half(?) of the revenue. Making it not worth the bus/train company's while.

sad ad angry for your DD. Hope she is ok.

ElenorRigby Thu 23-Oct-08 12:02:57

In Ireland following a crash that killed 5 schoolgirls, seatbelts have been fitted to all school buses.
This story illustrates how invaluable the change in the law has been.
IMO all buses should be fitted with belts. I once saw an old man fall off his seat when a bus braked hard.
YANBU.
Hope your little one is OK.

mumoverseas Thu 23-Oct-08 12:09:33

YANBU, I live in the middle east and although most buses do have seat belts most people don't use them. Sadly, around 2 years ago a young girl on the school bus going to my DC's school was killed when the bus crashed into the car in front and the poor girl went through the windscreen. All the kids with seatbelts on were ok, if very shaken, including her brother and sister (they were triplets) who witnessed her being killed. It was horrible.
Same goes for cars, out here it is not compulsory to wear a seat belt and it is not uncommon to see dads driving (women can't drive) with a baby or toddler on their laps or even sitting/lying on the dashboard. We have always insisted our kids wear seatbelts and thank god, it saved us serious injury when last night, on our way out shopping the car spun on oil on a motorway sliproad and we ploughed into a metal railing at around 30 mph. Thankfully my DD aged two was absolutely fine strapped into her 5 point harness seat and I received relatively minor injuries which were caused by the seat belt but if I hadn't been wearing it, I might have been out of the windscreen. A warning to all of us

MilaMae Thu 23-Oct-08 12:16:32

Thanks all grinI couldn't care less if other parents choose not to I just want the option.

Upwind how exactly are you safer on a bus hurtling down a sliproad that is joining a very busy and fast dual carriage way with no seatbelt on than in a car with one???? hmmI know which vehicle I'd rather be in-the one with seatbelts. Buses drive on the same roads as cars.

DD could have broken her neck,in a car with a seatbelt she wouldn't have flown anywhere.

Also my bus driver said it makes him furious as he has to break suddenly a lot on busy highstreets too. He would like them,most parents would the tickets are ludicrously expensive so money is no excuse imho

onager Thu 23-Oct-08 12:19:54

OTOH if you made them the same as cars they'd have to have child seats of every type and size and in the right numbers for the passengers. That doesn't even work in cars of course.

Maybe we should make everyone go slower and not have any fatal accidents at all?

Upwind Thu 23-Oct-08 12:21:21

All these anecdotes count for nothing though. My best friend was in a serious car accident. She and another friend were not wearing safety belts and were flung from the car on impact. They both made a complete recovery, though had broken bones. The two others in the car who were wearing their safety belts died. My friend and the other girl would certainly have been killed if wearing their belts, the car was completely destroyed.

Though I witnessed her slow recovery - it has not made me fear wearing a safety belt. Most of the time, in an accident you are better off wearing them. But there will always be tragic anecdotes that can prove any point you like.

witchandchips Thu 23-Oct-08 12:30:57

The real problem is that adults can hold themselves steady with their feet, children's legs are too short for this. I always get my ds to hold on to something. A simple belt would be great.

pamelat Thu 23-Oct-08 13:11:15

Maybe school buses should have proper child seats?

FAQ Thu 23-Oct-08 13:12:58

witchandchips - problem is a "simple" belt could still cause awful injuries - that's why children have to use booster cushions and the like - to ensure the seatbelt fits across them properly - as if they don't and they're involved in an accident the injuries which the seatbelt can cause can be terrible.

loobeylou Thu 23-Oct-08 14:07:42

OP - hope your DD was not hurt? Did the bus driver report the incident to his superiors? Even if your DD did not require any first aid, he should have taken witness details and your details. Did he? Did they (the company)get in touch?

witchandchips Thu 23-Oct-08 14:15:14

what about the kind they use on aeroplanes?

MilaMae Thu 23-Oct-08 14:29:30

No he didn't we were all in shock and just about to get off. I always tell dd to hold on but she must have become distracted and forgot to hold on (she's only 3) and the rest is history.

Think I will write though as it may help to get belts. I wonder how they stand if a child get seriously injured(dd was fine albeit hysterical). Could the parents sue I wonder?

Upwind you amaze me- seatbelts should always be warn-period!!!!!!! I think you'll find far more anecdotes supporting this view than yours. Your anecdote was a rarity.

Buses are no different to cars they are moving vehicles often travelling at great speed sharing roads with other vehicles who are also moving at a great speed. I can't believe there is anybody around who still thinks it's ok not to wear one shock

At our school the kids always travel to trips on buses with proper belts and they all have to take a booster seat. Would you let your child go on a school trip on a bus without belts I wonder?

naturalblonde Thu 23-Oct-08 14:30:43

You are safer on a bus/coach in an accident because if a car crashes into you, it will hit the engine/luggage compartment, not the passenger saloon.

When a coach is fitted with seatbelts it is compulsary to wear it, for children under 14 it is the parents' responsibility to make sure their child wears it, over 14, it is up to the child/adult. The driver either has to ake an announcement informing passengers of the law regarding seatblets, or the coach needs to be fitted with little blue seatbelt stickers by each seat.

Obviously the driver is not responsible for making sure passengers wear seatbelts. In my experience, it's hard enough to try and keep 50 rowdy kids in their seats, let alone belted up as well.

naturalblonde Thu 23-Oct-08 14:33:24

Witchandtrips, you can't get those belts, I've tried as I thought it'd be useful for all the preschool trips we do with small children, but the seatbelt manufacturers don't seem to sell them.

If you have a coach with belts, you can get a group 1 car seat that will work on lap belts only, whoich is what i have for my dd as she travels on coaches alot.

mazzystartled Thu 23-Oct-08 14:36:20

sorry your dd had a scare

think yabu thou
am a regular bus user, it wvuld just be a nightmare, and seatbelts not suitable for under 12s anyway

Upwind Thu 23-Oct-08 14:38:13

MilaMae - it is not yet an issue, but yes in principle I would allow my dc go on a school trip on a normal bus.

Accidents involving buses are a rarity, casualties on buses are rarer still. However, I would not bring my baby on a bus in her flatbed pram. She would probably be more secure in the luggage rack shock.

loobeylou Thu 23-Oct-08 14:43:46

Mila - yes def write to them. I know someone who got a bouquet in return! Glad DD was OK.

I don't know about sueing, as again YOU would need witnesses (OK, had she been hurt these would probably have been obtained at the time).The bus company were not breaking the law/negligent as they are not required to supply belts or force passengers to wear them.

I am sure the response would be "your child, your responsibility to keep them safe". Have had hairy moments on buses myself using my arm braced across a toddler and trying to steady a buggy/balance a baby on my knee at the same time!

Glad your DD was OK (its not just kids who are at risk, not long ago an elderly lady was injured falling off a bus seat, i think she broke her hip)

MilaMae Thu 23-Oct-08 14:44:39

I'd just like the option of a bus with belts. The bus I was on NB had no seatbelts.

I would still rather be in a car with a belt than a bus without. It's not the place of impact that worries me but the being thrown out of your seat that does.

Mazzy believe me when you've witnessed your child being thrown out of a seat and therefor witnessing what WILL happen in an accident the inconvenience of wearing a belt isn't the nightmare but the thought of going home with a seriously injured child or worse without a child at all.

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