Monday 20th November 2006
The Huntsville Bus Accident involving a school bus carrying 43 students occurred on an elevated portion of Interstate 565 in Huntsville, Alabama. Police stated that the bus went over the side after being hit by a small car. Plunging almost 40 feet, 4 students were killed and 23 were injured. The driver was ejected from the bus before it hit the ground.
The crash reignited debate over the installation of seat belts in buses, and whether Alabama should follow the lead of states such as Florida in legislating compulsory lap belts. Following the crash Alabama Governor Bob Riley ordered a report be made into the issue. A study group consisting of education and transport officials interviewed 17 expert witnesses, and in early 2007 released recommendations that a pilot program be run with lap/shoulder belts being installed in a limited number of new buses from 2008.