DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature that would amend current law by requiring new school buses to be equipped with seat belts and safety harnesses for every seat position.

House File 2117 would require that new school buses ordered for purchase on or after July 1, 2014, be equipped with the belts, and drivers and passengers would be required to use them.  

In addition, the bill would require that a child under one year of age and weighing less than 20 pounds who is transported in a motor vehicle subject to registration, except a motorcycle, must be secured during transit in a rear-facing child restraint system. (Current law does not require a child under one year of age to be secured in such a system during transit in a school bus.)

Other current requirements for the use of child restraint systems for children under 18 years of age would also apply for school buses equipped with safety belts and safety harnesses under the bill.

A violation of the seat belt requirements would result in a $50 fine.  A violation of seat belt or restraint requirements for people under 18 years old is a scheduled violation subject to a fine of $100.

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