CITIZEN VOICES® Majority oppose seat belts on school buses - 155 participants

Jan 08, 2017

HB 196, a bill sponsored by Rep. Mariellen MacKay, would establish a joint legislative committee charged with studying whether NH should require passengers on school buses to wear seat belts. Read more about the issue here. On January 8, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH require passengers on school buses to wear seat belts?”

Should NH require passengers on school buses to wear seat belts?

School Bus Seat Belts New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 155 participants gave 339 responses.

A total of 97% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 3% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 155 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 339 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 43 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said

No: A majority, at 61% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to requiring seat belts for passengers on school buses.  

  • “School [buses] are already the safest vehicles on the road, and were designed to safely transport children without seat belts.”
  • “There's no way for the driver and aid to unbuckle every kid. It does slow down evacuation process.”
  • “I don't think enforcement is practical. Think about how many times the bus would have to stop to buckle somebody back in. Kids would never get to school on time.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 39%, were in favor of requiring seat belts for passengers on school buses.  

  • “If I have to wear a seat belt in a car, then absolutely my children should have them in a school bus.”
  • “Students have the right to be safe while being transported to school.”
  • “Why does this need to be studied? Seat belts save lives. Put it in a bill already.”

Other: As noted above, 3% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. Most of these revolved around discussions of logistics.

  •  “I'm not against it, but it would require redesigning the seats on the bus.”
  • “Who would be responsible for the belts?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Related Bill

HB 196 (2017)
Bill Status: Signed by Governor
Hearing date: Mar 28, 2017

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