Senate approves bill to require seat belts on school buses

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AUSTIN – The Texas Senate passed legislation requiring seat belts to be installed on newly purchased school buses across the state on Wednesday.

Authored by Senator Sylvia Garcia, Senate Bill 693 cleared the chamber with a 25 to 6 vote.

The bill would require seat belts on all buses purchased in 2017 or later and wouldn’t allow schools to opt out.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 55 people have died on school buses from 2003 – 2012.

Similar legislation for bus safety had been past in 2007, but requirements were contingent on funding leaving the law in school districts’ hands to decide whether to apply for state money for the funding. According to a Houston Public Media report, no school districts applied in Texas.