HomeBlogsNASDPTS Highlights Omission of Detail in MSNBC Seat Belt Article

NASDPTS Highlights Omission of Detail in MSNBC Seat Belt Article

seat_belt_msnSometimes when a major media outlet covers the issue of seat belts on school buses, there are a few details that are left out or missed.

In an article on MSNBC.com, “Why your child’s school bus has no seat belts,” reporter Alex Johnson introduces the topic by mentioning the Beaumont, Texas, bus crash from March 2006. The facts of the crash he recaps are missing one important point — that the bus involved was a motorcoach. And this isn’t the first time this particular tragedy has been used as a strike against school bus safety. In the end, it led to a bill requiring seat belts on school buses purchased after Sept. 1, 2010, which Gov. Rick Perry signed in June 2007.

Charlie Hood, NASDPTS past-president and the state director of student transportation at the Florida Department of Education, also noticed the glaring omission. Soon, NADPTS Executive Director Bob Riley sent an email to members with a copy of the article attached.

“The article is relatively accurate except that it implies that the Texas students were in a school bus when they were actually in a motorcoach on an activity trip,” wrote Riley. “Data provided the writer [sic] by NHTSA adequately paints an accurate picture for the reader regarding the relative safety of school buses versus other modes of school transportation. Of minor concern is that NHTSA is still quoting the 2002 figures for annual student fatalities in non-school bus modes. That number was 800 in 2002, but has declined to about 500 currently. That still validates the point about how much safer school buses are than alternative modes of school transportation. ASBC has updated the figures it is using in various materials to reflect current data.”

And although NASDPTS, NAPT, NSTA are mentioned near the end of the article, there are no comments included from any of the associations.




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