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December 11, 2013  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

State directors to develop training guidelines for seat belts

By Thomas McMahon


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The state pupil transportation directors association said that it will act on recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made based on the agency’s investigation of the 2012 school bus accident in Chesterfield, N.J.

The NTSB issued two recommendations related to school bus seat belts to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) and other industry associations.

In response to Safety Recommendation H-13-35, NASDPTS said in its formal response letter that it will appoint a committee to develop guidelines to assist schools in training bus drivers, students and parents on “the importance and proper use of school bus seat belts” (as the NTSB put it), including manual lap belts, adjustable lap and shoulder belts, and flexible seating systems.

NASDPTS will then submit those guidelines to the 2015 National Congress on School Transportation and recommend their inclusion in the 2015 edition of National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures, which the NTSB advised.

In Safety Recommendation H-13-36, the NTSB asked the industry associations to “provide your members with educational materials on lap and shoulder belts providing the highest level of protection for school bus passengers, and advise states or school districts to consider this added safety benefit when purchasing seat belt-equipped school buses.”

In response, NASDPTS said that it will develop such materials and will advise states and school districts as NTSB requested. Also, the association said that it will request information from manufacturers and suppliers on the benefits and proper use of their lap-shoulder belt systems. NASDPTS will then provide that information to members, states and schools.

NASDPTS recently strengthened its position in support of lap-shoulder belts for school buses.

In a separate letter, the School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council responded to an NTSB recommendation (H-13-37) regarding seat pan attachments to seat frames. To view that letter, click here.


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