State Education Board Approves Rule Requiring Seatbelts On All New Buses

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The State Board of Education has given final approval to a change in state school bus rules that will require seatbelts to be installed whenever a district buys a new school bus.

Department of Education Transportation Director, Max Christensen, told the board members that it will take some time before all buses have them.

The rules must now go to the Legislative Rules Committee and if they review them in September and pass them, the requirement could be in place by October. Christensen was asked if this would maybe delay a district from ordering new buses.

A board member who used to be a bus driver asked if there is a concern about young kids being able to get out of the belts after an accident.

He says the bus manufacturers have to follow federal safety standards for the lap belts.

He was also asked about any technology that would tell the driver if the students had the seatbelts on, so the driver did not have to check each one.

He says the added cost for the seatbelts depends on the size of the bus.

The change in the seatbelt rule was part of an overall review of bus rules, and came following a public hearing on the issue in June.



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