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Federal Transportation Agency Urges Seat Belts on New Large School Buses

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A federal transportation panel last week recommended to states that all new large school buses be equipped with both lap and shoulder seat belts.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates transportation disasters, also recommended requiring collision-avoidance systems and automatic emergency brakes on new school buses.

The nonbinding recommendations came just days after a school bus collided with a dump truck in New Jersey, killing a student and teacher.

Chairman Robert Sumwalt said the board's last recommendation about school seat belts, made in 2013, was that states consider them, which he called "sort of weak." He said it's time for the agency to take a hard stance.

At least 29 states introduced school bus seat belt legislation last year, but big cost estimates have tripped up lawmakers in several instances.

Vol. 37, Issue 33, Page 4

Published in Print: May 30, 2018, as Federal Transportation Agency Urges Seat Belts on New Large School Buses
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