MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — Officials from the Department of Public Safety recently clarified and explained the requirements for a webbing strap/seat belt cutter to be installed in school buses in the state.
The requirement for a seat belt cutter to be installed in buses stemmed from the 2005 National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) in Warrensburg, Mo. (The congress is held every five years and develops the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures.)
During the 2005 event, NCST voted to require the installation of a full-width handgrip webbing strap/seat belt cutter in all school buses manufactured after Dec. 31, 2005. However, Minnesota did not adopt the National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures standards into law until Dec. 31, 2007. This means that school buses manufactured on or before Dec. 30, 2007, were not required to have the device in Minnesota.
Given this, officials said that all school buses built after Dec. 31, 2007, and used in Minnesota must be equipped with a full-width, durable handgrip webbing strap/seat belt cutter mounted in the driver compartment where it is easily accessible to the driver and can be easily detached.
Additional information can be found on pg. 38 of the Minnesota Minimum School Bus Equipment Standards on the Department of Public Safety website.