Retrofitting Seat Belts in Buses and Coaches
This paper presents the development and findings of a program addressing retrofitted seatbelt installations in small unitary construction buses and larger coach like buses.
A procedure for inspecting retrofitted installations and dynamically assessing installations of concern has been developed. This paper details these procedures as well as the results of both the visual inspections and dynamic tests. In summary, 134 large coaches and 926 small buses were identified as being pre ADR vehicles that had been retrofitted with seat belts. Most of these retrofits were found to have been installed using methods that were different to those specified by available technical guidelines.
Detailed inspections of a sample consisting of almost all large buses and approximately 10% of all of the smaller buses retrofitted (134 coaches and 104 small buses) were conducted.
For the large buses, the inspections issues were raised in 32 of the 134 installations. When assessed dynamically, all of the 32 installations required rectification. However dynamic assessment of installations observed in all of the smaller unitary construction buses demonstrated that all currently employed installation methods (even those that depart of the guidelines) do provide an adequate level
Both the technical and policy aspects of this project and future initiatives for maintaining and enhancing occupant protection in retrofitted vehicles are addressed in this paper.