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We the People

Why no seat belts on buses? Do grocery stores get inspected like restaurants? [We the People]

School Buses

LancasterOnline is answering your questions through We the People, a public-powered journalism project. You ask, you vote and our reporters find the answers.

Here are a few answers to questions that had not yet made it to the voting round.

If you have a Lancaster County-centric question, submit it below and your question may be featured in a future article.


PA has rigid seat belt laws. Why do school buses not have seat belts to make students buckle up for their safety? 

Only eight states actually have laws mandating that school buses have seat belts: New Jersey, New York, California, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada and Texas. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the best means of making sure kids don't get hurt in a crash is to have the bus seats close together, with the backs of the seats reinforced with "energy-absorbing seat backs."

Because buses are so high off the ground, the shock impact from crashes is lesser than that of typical vehicles.

According to Wonderopolis, a website focused on answering curiosities, "fewer than 10 children die each year in school bus accidents, and studies show that seat belts would not have prevented most of those deaths."

Question submitted by Thelma M.

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Lancaster County does restaurant inspections, do they also inspect grocery stores for cleanliness, expired food and proper refrigeration? 

Yes. When LancasterOnline publishes the restaurant inspections, grocery stores are among the inspected establishments.

The City of Lancaster's Health Inspection webpage says "We inspect all food establishments and tattoo businesses within the Lancaster City limits. This includes restaurants, grocery and food specialty stores, caterers, institutional food services, seasonal and special events vendors."

LancasterOnline publishes the inspections every Friday at 5 a.m.

Question submitted by Sharon M.

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