Q: For CA commercial buses hired by city senior centers departments, are seat belts required?

The driver of our bus stated that older buses are exempted from the law. That is older buses do not need to be retrofitted with seat belts

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: According to California law, all vehicles manufactured after July 1, 1965, must be equipped with seat belts in all seating positions. This includes commercial buses hired by city senior centers departments.

However, there is an exemption for commercial buses that were manufactured before July 1, 1971. These older buses are not required to have seat belts installed. If your bus was manufactured after July 1, 1971, it should have seat belts in all seating positions, as required by California law.

It is important to note that even if the bus is exempt from the seat belt requirement, passengers are still required to wear seat belts if they are available. Additionally, many senior centers departments may have their own policies regarding seat belt usage on buses and may require passengers to wear them regardless of the exemption.

If you have concerns about the safety of the buses used by your senior center department, you may want to bring your concerns to the attention of the department or the bus company to ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Buses made after a certain date (1971) are grandfathered so they don't need seat belts.

Buses manufactured after 1971 must have belts.

Arguably the senior center could be liable for not insisting the buses used are newer and have belts.

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