The Texas State Legislature is considering making seatbelts mandatory on school buses. This is a move to make buses safer for children. However, the bills being considered don’t mention where the cash-strapped school districts would find the funds to make the needed upgrades (if the bills passed). In my opinion, this is important information to have.
Opinions differ on seat belts
Bay Area school districts have varying thoughts on need for restraints on buses
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
School districts in Galveston County are closely monitoring three bills filed in the state Legislature that would require seat belts in school buses.
A House bill filed by Rep. Allan Ritter, D-Nederland, and a Senate bill by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would mandate that all school buses acquired by school districts after Sept. 1 have lap-shoulder seat belts for each passenger, including the driver.
Another House bill filed by Rep. Mike Hamilton, R-Mauriceville, would require each school bus purchased by school districts after Sept. 1, 2008, to have seat belts. It would also mandate seat belts for each school bus operated by or contracted by a school district after Sept. 1, 2017.
The Galveston school district already has ordered three buses with the lap-shoulder seat belts, which should arrive in July, and the devices will be on all future buses it purchases, district spokeswoman Christine Hopkins said.
Purchasing the buses with seat belts cost approximately $24,000 more and the vehicles have a one-third less seating capacity, said Arnold Proctor, the Galveston district’s assistant superintendent for business and operations.
I don’t have children, so I have to confess that I didn’t know that buses aren’t already equipped with seatbelts. Silly me.