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Key Safety Equipment
Modern school buses (those manufactured after April 1, 1977 - Ventura Unified School District does not have any pre-1977 school buses) are equipped with more safety equipment than any other vehicle on the road. This is by design because safety regulators and state pupil transportation officials always err on the side of providing an extra margin of safety. The size of the school bus alone gives it an important advantage in all but the most catastrophic circumstances.
Key federal safety requirements include:
Well-padded, high back, energy-absorbing seats, as well as special requirements for wheelchair restraint systems. These seating systems provide "automatic protection" for young passengers.
All school buses in California manufactured after July 1, 2005 shall be equipped with a lap/shoulder restraint.
Brake systems that enable the school bus to stop in a shorter distance than other large vehicles.
Lamps and reflective devices that indicate when the bus is loading and unloading passengers.
Special mirrors that allow the driver to see critical areas directly in front of and along both sides of the school bus.
A stop arm in newer buses that extends out to the left side of the bus to warn motorists when the bus is loading or unloading passengers.
Several emergency exits.
Rollover protection that reduces the likelihood of a roof collapse and allows for operable emergency exits even after the roof is subject to extreme forces.
A passenger compartment designed to reduce the chances of injury to occupants caused by sharp edges of body panels that may tear loose in a crash.
Protected fuel tanks, and fuel pump, fuel delivery system, emissions control lines and connections to protect against fuel spills in severe crashes.