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NCSL Report: Louisiana Lacks Funding to Install Seat Belts in School Buses

Up to six children die on student transportation vehicles every year. Although this statistic is tragic, it accounts for less than 1 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide, making school buses the safest vehicle on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As a parent, dropping your children off at the bus stop every morning may be hard, but you can have some peace of mind knowing that children are 70 times more likely to get to school safely on the bus than they are by car. School buses are designed with highly visible features to reduce the risk of collisions, and they have additional safety features inside to protect passengers in the event that an accident does occur.

Perhaps surprisingly, these safety features do not typically include seatbelts. The NHTSA has mandated that school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds must have safety restraints in all designated seats because they are closer in size to passenger vehicles and are less visible as a result; however, larger buses do not usually have lap belts.

Although school bus collisions are rare, they do happen—and the consequences can be devastating. Children can also sustain serious injuries when getting on or off the bus if nearby motorists are not paying attention.

If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for any damages your child incurred. The accident attorneys at Laborde Earles Law Firm can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove that you are entitled to compensation, and if your claim is denied, we are not afraid to take your case to trial.

Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing accident victims. Call 800-522-6733 to arrange a free case evaluation with a car wreck attorney in Baton Rouge.

Do School Buses in Louisiana Have Seatbelts?

Most school buses in the state of Louisiana do not currently have safety restraints. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Louisiana is one of seven states that have seatbelt requirements for its school buses; however, the state does not have the necessary funding to install them in all mandated vehicles.

School Transportation News reports that Louisiana faces a deficit of more than $300 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. School districts around the state have already experienced massive budget cuts, and there are likely more looming in the future.

As a result, the mandated seatbelt requirement remains unfunded. Old buses will not be updated with seatbelts at this time, and new buses will not be equipped with them.

If your child sustained serious injuries in a school bus collision and you want to file a lawsuit against the liable party, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm to discuss your options. Our award-winning attorneys have recovered more than $200 million for our clients.

Call 800-522-6733 to arrange a free consultation with an injury lawyer in Baton Rouge. You can learn more about school bus accident claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.