A new bill would require all new school buses to come equipped with seat belts.
The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) would also require an automatic emergency braking system, data recorder, and electronic stability control system for all new school buses.
The bill would also create a grant program to upgrade existing buses on the roads.
“No parent should have to worry about the safety of their children when they get on a school bus each day, but school buses often lack seat belts and basic safety equipment,” Duckworth said. “I am introducing this legislation to prevent accidents, reduce the severity of accidents when they occur and implement other commonsense safety recommendations because nothing is more important than protecting our children.”
“School buses have always been designed with safety in mind,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council. “They should be the first class of vehicles equipped with the best life-saving devices and technology, not the last. This legislation would ensure they remain the safest way to transport kids to school.”
The government said 1,282 people have died in school-transportation related crashes between 2007 and 2016.