Compartmentalization Compartmentalized

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The new Secretary of Transportation of Ray LaHood is about to throw the commercial motor coach manufacturer's favorite non-safety strategy off the bus. The Detroit News reported yesterday that NHTSA will be moving to require seat belts on motor coaches - a long overdue improvement. Bus manufacturers have fended off regulations for decades, arguing that occupants were adequately protected from crash forces by compartmentalization - the space around them enclosed by the seat backs behind and in front of them and the side structure.

NHTSA Proposes Upgrades to School Bus Regulations; Big Yellow Buses Get another Pass on Three-Point Belts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five years after it issued a comprehensive report on its school bus safety research, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to propose a requirement that three-point seatbelts be installed in full-size school buses - which agency research has shown to provide better occupant protection than lap belts or compartmentalization alone - because its is too expensive to implement, it said.

Instead, the agency is proposing to require shoulder/lap belts on small buses, to improve compartmentalization on large school buses and to establish lap/shoulder belt requirements for districts that wish to install them voluntarily.

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