Seat Belts on School Buses Being Debated in Louisiana Senate
I've always wondered why there aren't seat belts on school buses. Well, it seems I'm not the only one because a new bill is currently being discussed in the Senate that would require them in Louisiana.
The topic of the effectiveness of seat belts on school busses is a polarizing one, with studies supporting both sides of the argument.
Some studies report that having seat belts on school busses would make them safer for children, and would also help curtail bad behavior on the bus. Other studies insist seat belts would provide no benefits to safety due to the construction of the bus and average speed of travel.
Rep. Robby Carter (D-Amite), sponsor of the school bus seat belt bill HB 130 tells KNOE.com that requiring school buses to be equipped with seat belts is something that should have happened a long time ago.
Rep. Robby Carter via KNOE.com -
"If we’re going to require seat belts to be worn in every other kind of vehicle, why do we exempt the most important thing to all of us, which are our children, from having to wear these on a school bus?"
Back in 2004, Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a similar bill mandating seat belts on school busses after it passed both the House and Senate.
If it passed the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor 17 years ago, then what the heck happened?
Rep. Carter says "it was subject to appropriations and for 17 years, there hasn’t been an appropriation to do that."
Translated to English, Rep. Carter is saying is that for the past 17 years no one has figured out how to pay for it.
HB 103 is a bit different than the previous one and "only requires seat belts on buses that are purchased starting Jan. 1, 2023" according to KNOE.com.
The estimated cost to install seat belts on school busses would be around $2,000 per bus. In addition to the cost, Rep. Carter believes installing the seat belts will also add the additional issue of liability. Carter tells KNOE.com "the issue, there again, is making sure the kids are buckled. What good is a seat belt if the kid isn’t buckled?"
What do you think? Should seat belts be installed on school busses?