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'Compartmentalization,' large vehicle size makes seatbelts in school buses unnecessary

Ask a Trooper
Troy Christianson
Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: I am puzzled as to why seat belts are mandatory in vehicles along with a fine for not complying, but our precious cargo in school buses are not required to wear them?

Answer: School buses are one of the safest modes of transportation even without seatbelts. School buses are safer because of their large size and design. School bus interiors are designed on “compartmentalization”, which packs seats closely together and covers them with energy-absorbing pads. This minimizes their movement upon impact.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, less than one percent of all traffic fatalities involve children on school transportation vehicles.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,


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