D-F G-I J-L
M-O P-R S-U
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
All federal motor vehicle safety standards are located in the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) Volume 49, Part 571. For a brief description
of each federal motor vehicle safety standard, click here.
Bus Crashworthiness Research - October 2002. Also available in .PDF
version. (posted 05-07-03)
The record is impressive: American students are nearly eight times safer
riding to school in a school bus than with their own parents or caregivers
in cars. In the late 1990s, Congress requested that DOT investigate the
safety value of installing safety belts on our nation's school buses.
A school bus crashworthiness research report by NHTSA concluded that lap
belts appear to have little, if any, benefit in reducing serious-to-fatal
injuries in severe frontal crashes. On the contrary, lap belts could increase
the incidence of serious neck injuries and possibly abdominal injury among
young passengers in severe frontal crashes. The use of lap/shoulder belts
could provide some benefit, unless misused. NHTSA's testing showed that
serious neck injury and perhaps abdominal injury could result when lap/shoulder
belts are misused. Other considerations, such as increased capital costs
and reduced seating capacities that installing lap/shoulder belts would
require, could also have serious unintended consequences: more children
seeking alternative means of travel to school. Given that school buses
are the safest way to and from school, even the smallest reduction in
the number of bus riders could result in more children being killed or
injured when using alternative forms of transportation.
Special Investigation Report: Pupil Transportation In Vehicles Not Meeting
Federal Schoolbus Standards PDF version
This report, published by the National Transportation Safety Board, contains
findings of a special investigation conducted as a result of four fatal
crashes involving nonconforming buses used to transport children.
An interpretation letter issued by NHTSA's Office of Chief Counsel regarding
the use of 12-15 passenger vans by child day care providers. It addresses
questions focusing on federal motor vehicle safety regulations relating
to the sale and lease of school buses.
of Persons That Can Safely Sit on a School Bus Seat
Federal regulation does not specify the number of persons that can sit
on a school bus seat. The school bus manufacturers determine the maximum
seating capacity of a school bus. This document contains NHTSA's recommendation
that all passengers be seated entirely within the confines of the school
bus seat while the bus is in motion, and explains why.
Of Nonconforming Vehicles For School Transportation
This publication discusses the Federal requirements that regulate the
manufacture and original sale or lease of new vehicles that carry 11 or
more persons that are sold for transporting students to or from school
or school-related events.