How many students can safely sit on a school bus seat?

Federal regulation does not specify the number of students that can sit on a school bus seat. School bus manufacturers determine the maximum seating capacity of a school bus. The manufacturers use this number, which is based on sitting three small elementary school persons per typical 39″ school bus seat in the calculations for determining the gross vehicle weight rating and the number of emergency exits. School transportation providers generally determine the number of persons that can safely fit into a school bus seat. Generally they fit three elementary school age persons or two middle or high school students into a typical 39″ school bus seat.

Why don’t school buses need seat belts?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that all passengers be seated entirely within the confines of the school bus seats while the bus is in motion. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #222, “School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection” requires that the interior of school buses provide occupant protection so that children are protected without the need for seat belts. Occupant protection is provided by a protective compartment consisting of strong, closely spaced high-back seats that have energy absorbing seat backs.

Why do buses take so long to stop at railroad crossings?

State law requires school bus drivers stop, turn on the caution lights, put the bus in neutral, set the air brake, turn off all fans and blower motors, turn off the radio, open the driver side window, open the passenger door, keep the students quiet, and look and listen in both directions. The procedures are reversed before the driver crosses the tracks.