Ask a Trooper: Why aren’t seat belts required on a school bus?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

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?

Troy Christianson

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.

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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 1% 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 St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.