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8.8.15

SCHOOL BUSES SEAT-BELT INTEGRITY * USA: NHTSA asked to study safety

* DC - School-bus seat under scrutinity

--   The School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine if the structural integrity of the school bus seating and restraint system needs to be changed... The request came in response to a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation regarding three-point belts for school buses... The issue is at the center of an NTSB investigation into two fatal school bus crashes occurring about a month a part from each other in 2012 — the first on Feb. 16 of that year in Chesterfield, New Jersey, and the second on March 26 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Both incidents involved a truck striking the school bus from the side, causing high lateral and rotational accelerations that contributed to the fatalities and injuries... In its final analysis of the New Jersey crash and an attached review of the Port St. Lucie crash that was finalized on July 23, 2013, NTSB recommended to SBMTC that it “develop a recommended practice for establishing and safeguarding the structural integrity of the entire school bus seating and restraint system, including the seat pan attachment to the seat frame, in severe crashes — in particular, those involving lateral impacts with vehicles of large mass.” ... In the Port St. Lucie crash, one seat pan with the self-latching mechanism became dislodged. All the seat pans in New Jersey collision held up. Both students killed in each crash were not wearing their lap belts, NTSB concluded...
(Photo from NTSB - Two fatal school bus crashes, one in New Jersey, left; and the other in Florida, right) -- Washington, DC, USA - The School Transportation News, by Ryan Gray - August 5, 2015

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