Seatbelts on school buses? Why not?

Apparently the debate here is about cost vs. the chance of saving lives in extreme cases. Advocates on the safety side of things say belts on buses are long overdue. Opponents point out that on the whole, school buses are safe, accidents are rare, and the chances of a kid getting hurt over a dozen years of bussing are very slim indeed.

This is of course another chapter in the saga of humans protecting their kids from the remotest unpleasantness. Some say we’ve gone way too far. By wrapping our kids in cotton wool, so to speak, we deprive them of valuable life experience and ill-prepare them for a future that will include some hard knocks.

Removing all risk is impossible, and has bad side effects, the argument goes.

So what it comes down to is a slight increase in safety, against about $15,000 more, per bus. Canada-wide, that runs into many millions of dollars. The High Prairie School Division runs about 47 buses. You do the math. Then multiply it by the 59 public and separate school divisions in the province. Then, if extremely rough estimates don’t bother you too much, multiply that figure times nine, which is about how many times bigger Canada’s population is to Alberta’s.

But of course money is never the whole story. In certain circumstances, lives might be saved.

Share this post

Post Comment