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January 06, 2014  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Virginia legislator calls for school bus seat belt study

By Kelly Aguinaldo


RICHMOND, Va. — A state legislator has called upon the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the effectiveness of requiring seat belts on school buses in Virginia.

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) pre-filed House Joint Resolution No. 34 in late December, and it is scheduled to be offered to the commission on Wednesday.

In conducting its study, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission would have to do the following:

• Assess the implementation of mandatory school bus seat belt laws in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Texas;

• Consult and summarize the findings of past and current studies on the effectiveness of requiring seat belts on school buses;

• Consult and summarize any guidance on the subject from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and

• Solicit input from each local school board on the effectiveness and cost of requiring seat belts on every school bus.

The commission would have to complete its meetings by Nov. 30, 2014, and the chairman would have to submit an executive summary of the commission's findings and recommendations to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems by the first day of the General Assembly’s 2015 regular session. The summary would be required to state whether the commission intends to submit to the General Assembly and the governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document.

The school board chairman for a local district told the Sun Gazette that she and her colleagues believe that mandating seat belts on school buses is a “bad idea.”

Other news related to seat belts on school buses:

4 school bus seat belt bills under review in Massachusetts

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Read more about: seat belts, Virginia

If you have ever experienced driving a school bus, you would not even be considering mandated seat belts.....UNLESS you have a monitor on EVERY Bus with seat belts. There is NO WAY a bus driver can enforce the use of seat belts from the driver's seat, and I can guarantee you the kids would be using the buckles as a weapon. Just one more headache and distraction for the driver! I have driven a school bus for 33 yrs. at the end of this year, and have seat belts in the first three rows of my bus for the Pre-K's that ride my bus. But when I transport the Jr. High kids on another route, they are slapping each other with them so I constantly have to be on them to leave them alone.

Carole Mathews    |    Jan 07, 2014 05:39 PM

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