Local reaction to NTSB's recommendation to have seat belts in school buses

Posted at 8:04 PM, May 23, 2018

Just days after a 10-year-old girl and a teacher were killed in a New Jersey school bus crash, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that every state require three point seatbelts, that cover laps and shoulders, on large, new school buses.

It's a move that Kimberly Hess with the Center for Childhood Safety in Green Bay said is long overdue.     

"We now have preschoolers being transported in buses and it used to be only older children, and we really need a better way to protect them. Some buses do have lap belts, but lap belts should not be used with our preschoolers." 

But Hess said it would take time to phase out the old buses and bring in the new buses that are equipped with seatbelts.

She also said the change would also be expensive for school districts who have tight budgets. The school bus industry estimates the lap and shoulder belts would cost about $10,000 per bus.