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Lawmakers Wants Seat Belts Required on State’s School Buses

December 18, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois lawmaker wants to make seat belts on school buses a requirement in the wake of a fatal crash in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that sparked concern about bus safety.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that Democratic state Rep. Lou Lang will propose legislation requiring three-point seat belts on new, large school buses.

Six other states have such a requirement. Cost estimates for seat belts in large buses range between $5,000 and $10,000.

Illinois Association for Pupil Transportation president Michael Reinders opposes the legislation, saying seat belts could slow down the emergency exit process during a fire.

Bus driver Mike Nilson says enforcing seat belts requirements would be difficult.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it thinks the current bus design is safe, but can be improved.

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