Not all buses required to have seat belts

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — After a crash involving a bus injured more than a dozen people early Sunday morning, we took a look to see if buses are required to have seat belts.

Not all buses are required to have seat belts. Buses built after 2016 are required to have them. | Credit: WHSV

According to American Bus Association CEO Peter Pantuso, new buses have been required to have seat belts since 2016, but some manufacturers had been putting them in before that change.

Older buses may not have seat belts. However, just because the seat belts are there, doesn't mean people will wear them.

"They will stand up, they will do everything that you say do, they won't do," John, a New Jersey resident said.

John used to run a bus company, and he said his buses had seat belts, but people wouldn't always wear them.

"If a person will sit in the seat, that will help, even without seat belts, if they would stay in their seat it'd be okay," John said.

According to Virginia State Police, not everyone is required by law to wear seat belts in vehicles. If you're an adult sitting in the back seat, you don't have to wear one, but children always do. State police said you still should always wear one.

"It's not going to prevent you from getting hit by other people or other objects in that vehicle," Sgt. C.J. Aikens said. "But it's going to keep you secured in that seat until it comes to a stop."

People we spoke with said they'd always wear a seat belt, if it was available.

"What's the difference between that and a truck or car, it's the same thing to me and it definitely improves your safety odds," Jim Holt, a New York resident said.

"Just to be safe and secure and all things, and people won't go ahead and hit against the front of another person, or the back of you, just to protect yourself," Bianca Jackson of Staunton said.