SANTA FE, N.M. — State lawmakers here have introduced legislation that would require seat belts on new school buses, KRWG reports.
House Bill 265, introduced by Rep. Jack Chatfield and Rep. Bill Rehm, would require that all new school buses purchased on or after Jan. 2020 come equipped with seat belts. The buses would also be required to include electronic stability control and collision avoidance systems.
Chatfield told KRWG that since students are expected to wear seat belts in a personal vehicle, the same should apply for when they are riding in school buses. Rehm added that “automatic braking and traction control will add more safety to school bus travel.”
HB 265 is currently scheduled for review by the House Education Committee, according to the state legislature's website. If the legislation is passed, New Mexico would be joining several other states, including California, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and Florida, that require seat belts on school buses.
As SBF previously reported in August, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that upgrades the requirement for seat belts on new school buses from lap-only belts to lap-shoulder belts. The legislation was created in response to a school bus crash that killed a teacher and a student in May. The bus was carrying 38 students and seven adults from Paramus Public Schools, and had collided with a dump truck on a highway.