Neither Wisconsin nor the federal government requires seat belts
on school buses. There is concern that a lap-belt-only type seat
belt may be harmful for young children in a crash. In deciding not
to require seat belts, the built-in safety features of school buses
have been taken into consideration:
School buses are designed to take a great deal of impact, not
to crush in event of roll over, and to cushion children with
compartmentalization between the seats in event of crash or fast
Seat belts are largely intended to prevent ejection from a
vehicle. Typically, only children standing in the aisle or the
bus driver are at high risk of being ejected from a school bus.
Some school buses have pre-installed three point system seat
belts. On these vehicles, all passengers are encouraged to use them.
There is an exception in the child safety seat law when
transporting small children in both commercial and school buses, but
when possible, correct child restraints are recommended.
Smaller school buses often have seat belts because they are
used to transport smaller children or children with behavioral
or other forms of disabilities.
Seat belts can be very helpful in keeping children seated.
Children under four should be transported in an approved child
restraint, properly installed in the vehicle, if seat belts are