BUS SAFETY: A recent decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will increase seatback height on both large and small school buses, and mandates three-point seatbelts on smaller buses, according to BUSRide magazine. This is a major step forward for bus safety, and could be a sign that seatbelts will make their way to motorcoaches and minibuses through federal mandates. It's a controversial subject, or else it would have been adopted years ago, as it was for nearly all other passenger vehicles. Three-point seatbelts have brought a huge increase in passenger safety, and should make a positive difference when bus crashes happen. It's not yet clear how safe passengers will be if a bus rolls over, or when other drastic collision consequences take place. Increasing seatback height and three-point seatbelt usage is expected to substantially increase safety for school kids and drivers, and should increase safety levels for other passenger buses -- if it ever gets adopted across the bus industry. -- J.L.
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