ST. PAUL, Minn. — New state legislation would require lap-shoulder belts on school buses purchased after this year.
The bill, authored by Rep. Lyndon Carlson Sr. and Rep. Jeff Hayden, was introduced into the Legislature last week and referred to an education committee.
David Peterson, communications officer for the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT), said the MAPT board of directors’ position is that “any school bus seat belt requirement by the Legislature should be funded.”
The association estimated that the cost of the lap-shoulder belt mandate would be $8,000 to $9,000 per large school bus.
Minnesota law already requires that passengers buckle up on school buses equipped with lap or lap-shoulder belts. It also specifies that in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, school districts and contractors and their employees can’t be held liable “solely because the injured party was not wearing a safety belt.”