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North Carolina Day Care Center / Child Care Centers – What Standards Apply as to Transportation of School by School Bus and Other Vehicles (Seat Belts and Safety Restraints)?

By John Jensen, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In North Carolina and other states, it is important for day care centers / child care centers to implement safety measures when transporting children. North Carolina day care centers are regulated by the North Carolina Administrative Code Title 10 A – Health and Human Services – Chapter 9 – Day Care Rules.

Pursuant to Section 1003 – Seat Restraints, day care centers have a duty to provide each passenger (adult and child) with an individual seat belt or appropriate child restraint. There is an exception for children under the age of 2 years old who occupy a vehicle that is not required by federal or state law to be equipped with seat restraints. Unfortunately, many large school buses fall under this category. As such, many children travel without a seat belt or safety restraint in North Carolina and other states. Children are not permitted to sit in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger side air bag.

Day care center drivers should exercise due care when transporting children. It is important for drivers to follow speed limits and to refrain from using cell phones and mobile phones which are well known to cause driver distraction. If a child is injured while traveling on a day care vehicle, van, or school bus as a result of the negligence of the day care employee, school bus driver, or another person, it is important for the child to first get evaluated by a medical provider. Sometimes, emergency medical care is necessary. At other times, a visit to the child’s pediatrician or a specialist is more appropriate. Thereafter, a consultation with a North Carolina child injury attorney is helpful for parents and caregivers to get advice as to insurance, compensation, medical bill payments, liability, North Carolina laws, and other matters.