A: School buses are exempt from the child restraint law. We are all familiar with the large, yellow buses that regularly transport children to school. One of the main reasons belts aren’t required on all school buses is that, statistically speaking, buses are relatively safe. They are large, tall, have flashing red lights, cross-view mirrors, reinforced sides, a bright color, and stop arms. They also have “compartmentalization” – the interior of the large bus provide occupant protection without the use of a seat belt. Some states are increasing requirements of seat belts on school buses and Washington has begun discussions.
The Multi-function school activity bus or MFSAB type vehicles will continue to be exempt from Washington’s child restraint law requirements as well. Those that do not have the traffic control devices are not allowed to be used for picking up children at bus stops for to and from school travel. They may be used for activity trips.
Vehicles providing shuttle services between parking, convention and hotel facilities and airport terminals are also exempt.
An exemption does not ensure the safest mode of protection when traveling in a motor vehicle.