Safety

NASDPTS bolsters support for lap-shoulder belts

Thomas McMahon
Posted on October 25, 2013
NASDPTS’ new position fully supports lap-shoulder belts for school buses, having decided to drop a clause that made the support contingent on funding being provided.
NASDPTS’ new position fully supports lap-shoulder belts for school buses, having decided to drop a clause that made the support contingent on funding being provided.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The state directors association on Monday strengthened its position in support of lap-shoulder belts for school buses.

Previously, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) had gone on the record to support lap-shoulder belts if funding is made available for them. But that statement had begun to seem inconsequential considering economic conditions.

“All of us know that funding is not currently generally available, and I doubt anyone thinks it will become available anytime in the near future,” NASDPTS President Max Christensen said. “Thus our position really seemed to be a ‘non-position.’”

At the association’s conference in Grand Rapids, the NASDPTS board decided to bolster its support for the three-point restraints by dropping the funding clause from its position.

“As of today, NASDPTS fully supports the installation and use of lap-shoulder belts in school buses, period, with no ifs, ands or buts,” Christensen said on Monday.

However, the board noted that it should be left up to school districts whether to equip their buses with the restraints.

“We are not recommending the installation and use, nor are we asking that lap-shoulder belts be required,” Christensen said. “We believe this should be a local decision based on local need.”

NASDPTS’ position papers on the topic will be updated to reflect the new position.

Seat belts on school buses has been a contentious topic in the industry for several decades, but Christensen said that the NASDPTS board felt it was time to take “a true leadership position” on the issue.

Related Topics: Michigan, NASDPTS, seat belts

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 13 )
  • Scott Partridge

     | about 2 years ago

    If this idea ever becomes law, who will be held liable when a youngster unbuckles his seat belt during the ride (while the driver is looking to the front) and there's an accident...the driver? Seat belts are fine but they must be done up to work properly and the driver simply cannot watch 72 seat belts to ensure they buckled while trying to navigate the road safely. In todays age it's all about liability and I can envision driver's refusing to drive because they don't want to accept this particular liability. Could be some bumpy times ahead.

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