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A Suffolk County, N.Y., law that would have required all school buses purchased after Jan. 1 to have seat belts was voided last month during legal proceedings brought by three Suffolk school districts that opposed the law. (See Education Week, Oct. 16, 1985.)

In a consent decree filed with the state supreme court, Martin B. Ashare, the Suffolk County attorney, agreed to withdraw the law, acknowledging that it violates a provision of the state constitution giving the state the first right to regulate motor vehicles.

The three districts--Bay Shore, Kings Park, and Longwood--filed a suit challenging the law last July.

Supporters of the measure said they hoped the public debate over their proposal would stimulate support for a similar seat-belt law under consideration in the state legislature.

Two Suffolk County districts--Comsewogue and Hampton Bays--already require seat belts on new buses, according to the National Coalition for Seat Belts on School Buses. About 75 districts throughout the country have adopted such policies, according to Carol Fast, the group's founder.

Vol. 05, Issue 17

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