CRIST BILL BETTER PROTECTS STUDENTS RIDING ON SCHOOL BUSES
Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) introduced the Best to Use Safety (BUS) Belts Act to enhance school bus safety. Crist’s bill would require all new buses be equipped with safety belts, and provide grants to upgrade existing buses with seat belts. (Please click here to view text of the legislation).
"Families across Florida teach their children to buckle up. But for millions of kids across the country their school bus lacks this basic safety feature," said Crist. "All students deserve access to a safe education – this measure simply extends that principle to children’s transportation to and from school."
"Children are provided the protection of three-point belts when they ride in a car. The same protection should be offered to them in school buses. This legislation would enable this to happen," added Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council.
The State of Florida already mandates seat belts on school buses, per a bill sponsored by then-Senator Crist. Federal law currently only covers the driver’s seat on large school buses. In the past six months, school bus accidents have killed and injured students in Maryland, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. Just last week we saw terrifying images of a school bus rollover in Idaho, which sent a dozen children to the emergency room. No community, family, or parent should have to endure such tragedy. Crist’s BUS Belts Act would help prevent injuries and deaths when school bus accidents occur, protecting children as they go to school to learn, laugh, and grow into the next generation of Americans.