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New district buses come with new features

Posted Date: 12/18/2018

Chanute Public Schools purchased two new buses for transporting students this year and both came with new features – seatbelts.

“Seatbelts are coming down the road,” said Charlie McKinney, director of support operations. “To retrofit a bus with seatbelts is costly,” so getting seatbelts when purchasing a new bus is the most efficient way to go.

One of the buses is being used for preschool students and the other as a regular route bus.boy puts on school bus seatbelt

Route driver Dave Warhurst said there are always a few who have to be reminded, but for the most part seatbelts are just part of the routine.

“Whenever I take my grandkids anywhere, they just get in the car and buckle up. They’re pretty used to that,” McKinney said.

Principal Tyler Applegate, at Lincoln Early Learning Center, said seatbelts are a good idea for the 55 preschoolers who ride the new bus.

“They’re good, not only from a safety standpoint, but from a managerial standpoint,” Applegate said.  When the children board the bus, the bus riders walk down the aisle and make sure everyone is buckled in. When the bus starts moving, the adults know the children aren’t getting up and out of their seats.

McKinney said the district is also experimenting with assigned seating.

“We’re starting to do that on some of the buses,” McKinney said. “For us, it’s kind of a trial but it’s been going really well on that bus.”

Research has shown that going with assigned seats and seatbelts “makes a world of difference in how they act on the bus,” McKinney said.