The U.S. Department of Transportation has finally set seat belts standards for school buses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should now act quickly to provide “guidance to the states,” on this important issue.
New rules have been proposed by NHTSA to improve the safety of school bus seats and expand the use of shoulder belts.
States will have the option of using federal highway safety funds to retrofit its buses with seat belts. Unfortunately, NHTSA didn’t provide any new money to cover those costs.
It’s been a full year since the school bus crash in Huntsville killed four students and injured dozens of others. That incident caused the state of Alabama and other states to take a look at the problem.
In addition, the DOT also got involved. Safety experts have been calling for seat belts on school buses for years.
However, political influence and heavy lobbying have been successful in keeping seat belts out of the picture for buses thus far. Beasley Allen is involved in the litigation arising out of the bus crash in Huntsville.