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School Buses Soon to Have Seat Belts

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For the first time, smaller school buses are soon to be equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts and larger buses will get higher seat backs. Larger buses will not be required to install seatbelts due to seat capacity needs. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters explained, "We wanted to make sure that any measures we put forth don't needlessly limit the capacity of the buses and then force that school or that school district to have more children walking, riding with parents, biking, etc." The new safety law will not take effect until 2011.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Holli Walker October 15, 2008, 5:56 PM

I think this is a wonderful thing and I am so glad that this is finally happening. I have a 6 yr old son and would not dream of letting him ride the bus because of the seat belt issue. It is incredibly unsafe. I never did understand why it is against the law for someone to be driving without their seat belts on, but yet this never seemed to be a concern for the children that ride the buses. It is nice to know that our children will finally be safe on the school buses.

mary October 15, 2008, 7:55 PM

Holli— the article states though that the larger school buses are not going to have seat belts. The seat belts are for the smaller school buses, usually these are the special education buses. It could be different in your district, but I’m just saying, don’t get your hopes up for your 6 year old… in our district, the larger buses are the standard school buses and the small buses are used to transport special education preschoolers, and older special education students who are not able to ride the regular school bus for one reason or another.

ame i. October 15, 2008, 10:37 PM

During Kindergarten through 2nd grade, my younger daughter had a wheelchair-bound classmate, so I’ve been on many field trips on the “physically limited” buses with tethers and seatbelts. I love these buses. I feel that children are so much safer.
My state (TN) has used this excuse for dragging their feet on the issue of seatbelts on buses: The children may hit each other with the seatbelts. What tha??

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