Parents say seat belt usage should be enforced on school buses

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 22, 2016

Parents everywhere are still in shock after hearing about the deadly school bus crash in Tennessee.

It had many parents questioning what are the laws here about seat belts on school buses.

Florida is actually one of the few states that has a law on the books about school buses having seat belts. However, some parents say the rules don’t go far enough.

“It’s just stuff like that shouldn’t happened.”

For St. Lucie County dad Joseph Shewchuck, it was another scary wake-up call when it comes to his own son’s safety on the school bus.

“When I spoke with my son, he said they have seatbelt on the bus but they don’t have to wear them,” explained Shewchuck.

And his 13-year-old is right. 

NewsChannel 5 looked up the Florida statute. It says new bus purchases after December 31, 2000 are required to have seat belts. However, it doesn’t say anything about enforcement or making sure students wear them.

“I feel it’s up to the school to keep our kids safe when they get on the bus to and from school.”

We called the districts in our area. Most of them responded, saying they strongly encourage, expect and remind the students to wear the seat belts.

None of them mentioned enforcement rules or consequences if students are caught not wearing a seat belt on the school bus.

“They don’t tell them to wear it, they figure they don’t have to wear it,” said Shewchuck, who thinks those rules need to change.

“I personally would like to have my son suspended for three days than go through what the Beauchamps went through, then go through what these six parents are going through in Chattanooga.”

9-year-old Aaron Beauchamp of St. Lucie county died in a school bus crash back in 2012. He was wearing a seat belt but still did not survive.

Following that crash the NTSB is now recommending new buses have 3-point seat belts which include the shoulder strap.