U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters is calling for more stringent safety regulations on school buses.
Peters is proposing that all school buses must have higher seat backs and that small school buses be required to have three-point safety belts. Mandating 24-inch seat backs, 4 inches higher than the current regulation, will better protect children, Peters says.
The proposal also seeks to require that all new small buses be equipped with three-point belts, replacing the current lap-belts-only requirement. Peters says the added protection is needed because smaller buses are more prone to rollover than full-size buses.
“Our proposed rule would make children safer, put parents at ease and give communities a clearer picture of how to protect students,” says Peters.
The seat back requirement would go into effect one year after new regulations are adopted. The three-point belt requirement on small buses would go into effect three years after the regulations are adopted.