Safety

States Share School Bus Seat Belt Experiences in NHTSA Meeting

Thomas McMahon
Posted on April 5, 2016
NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind invited representatives of the six states that have passed school bus seat belt legislation to discuss their experiences in a meeting on March 24. Rosekind is seen here at a July 2015 meeting on the seat belt topic. Photo courtesy NHTSA
NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind invited representatives of the six states that have passed school bus seat belt legislation to discuss their experiences in a meeting on March 24. Rosekind is seen here at a July 2015 meeting on the seat belt topic. Photo courtesy NHTSA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives of the six states that have passed school bus seat belt legislation convened here recently to share their experiences with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind sent letters to the governors of those six states in December, asking each to nominate one representative from their state government and one representative from a local school district to take part in the meeting, which was held on March 24.

The participants provided details on the legislation that their states passed, and they discussed such issues as implementation and costs of seat belts on school buses, training, and emergency evacuation concerns. Also, Rosekind said that further meetings will be held to address other school bus safety issues, such as the danger zone around the bus.

California is currently the only state with an effective requirement for three-point belts on school buses. Three other states require lap belts on school buses: Florida, New Jersey and New York. Texas and Louisiana have passed school bus seat belt bills, but both were contingent on funding being allocated to pay for the restraints. Since those two states’ mandates remain unfunded, they have not been enforced.

Also at the meeting were representatives from the National School Transportation Association and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, who attended as observers.

Look for more coverage on this topic in SBF in the coming weeks.

Related Topics: NHTSA, seat belts

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Mike Gough / BeeBopEh

     | about 4 years ago

    I have been doing regular school T/F home services and charter special run service for going on ten years as a forty footer driver. Many students are indeed a challenge to remain seated while the bus rolls along. As a driver I wouldn"t begin to have time. assuring all are properly belted-in. There should be the cost of a full or part-time monitor added- in as assurance the belts get consistently snd safely used. Otherwise the kids will lose faith in the belts. Hard panic stops or gosh forbid a full or partial roll-over are very rare events. However, consistent belt use will win the day in these rare cases. The forgiving high back padded passenger compartments will work but honestly how many kids are in the aisle or otherwise standing during many rides?

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