Safety study to determine feasibility of seatbelts on school buses

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - On Monday, Governor Riley will announce the findings of a three year study on school bus safety.

The study was prompted by the Lee High School bus crash nearly three years ago.

Four students died when their bus went off Interstate 565 in Huntsville.

Most buses, including the one involved in the crash, do not have seatbelts, and the findings from the study could change that.

Many question if seat belts could have saved lives in the Lee bus crash.

"Seatbelts will make a school bus safer, just like they make a car safer," said Boaz Transportation Director Walker Segars.

Boaz is one of 12 school systems testing out seat belts on buses.

This study will determine if students will even use the seatbelts and if these safety devices are cost effective.

Segars says the downside to putting seat belts on all buses will always come down to money.

"They are very expensive and that's one of the factors when buying a bus. We are in proration, so when you are buying a vehicle, most school systems buy basic bus they can get for the basic price," said Segars.

Buses with belts can run as high as $90,000 and buses with seatbelts can't carry the same amount of students.

Based on the tragedy in Huntsville, many argue that the state should do what ever they can to save a life.

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