Horrible school bus accident

August 5, 2010 1:15:11 PM PDT
I suppose we may seem nutty about safety, at least when we compare it to how we all grew up.

If you're over a certain age, then you never had a seat belt in your family car, never wore a helmet on a bike or on roller skates, never worried about the hard pavement underneath a jungle gym.

Now of course we'd never think of riding in our cars without three-point shoulder harnesses, putting our kids in anything but an approved child safety seat, or riding a bike without a helmet, or having absorbent rubber on the ground of a playground.

Which is why it's puzzling that most school buses at least those that aren't new, don't have seat belts in them.

The school bus crash in Missouri today got us thinking about seatbelts. There were two buses, a tractor trailer and a pickup involved; one girl on the bus and the pickup driver were killed.

It's unclear if there were or weren't seat belts on board the buses, but the hard truth is, unless the bus is new, most school buses are not required to have seat belts.

It's counterintuitive, but federal transportation safety officials say that school buses are constructed to absorb the shock of accidents better than cars, meaning kids inside are less likely to get hurt.

I'm not sure I understand the science of it, but the data seem to support that. As my dad used to say: Liars figure, but figures don't lie.

More than 42,000 people are killed in car accidents every year in the U.S. But on average, six school age kids are killed in school bus crashes every year. I used to cringe whenever my kids would get on a school bus, if that bus didn't have seat belts. The thought still gives me goose bumps. But figures don't lie, I guess. Or at least I rationalize.

The video from the school crash is enough to give you goose bumps, and we'll have the latest on the investigation into the crash, tonight at 11. Right now, at least 14 investigators from the NTSB are on their way to the scene at Gray Summit, Missouri.

Also at 11, you have to wonder what the operator of a carnival in Roseto, Pennsylvania, less than 70 miles from New York City, was thinking by having a shooting game that featured a likeness of Pres. Obama.

The operator, a man interestingly named Irvin Good, Jr., told a local paper that the African-American man wearing a belt with a buckled that says "The Prez" and carrying papers labeled "health bill" isn't the President. Of course not, how would anyone come to that conclusion!

Nonetheless, the "game" has been removed, and Mr. Good has apologized. He says he will replace the image that looks like Mr. Obama but isn't, with the image of a pirate. Charming.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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