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Seatbelts not yet required on Illinois school buses

As children strap on their over-sized backpacks and head back to class, parents are encouraged to share safety tips to help kids commute safely. However, one safety initiative has yet to be implemented for the start of this school year in Illinois.

In early 2017, a bill proposing that seat belts be required on school buses was pushed by Illinois lawmakers. The bill still hasn’t been passed.

Though the implementation of the bill looked promising after it was passed by the House Committee, the last action made on House Bill 3377 was on April 28 of 2017 when the bill was kicked back to the Rules Committee.

What is House Bill 3377?

The bill proposes the mandatory use of three-point seat belts for each passenger seat of Illinois school buses, as well as a rooftop safety hatch. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has endorsed three-point seat belts on school buses, saying that seat belts save lives.

Encouraging school bus safety across the country

If passed, the bill would make Illinois the seventh state to pass laws requiring seat belt use on school buses. The states of California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and Texas already have seatbelt laws for school buses.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation, a school bus industry group, said that choosing to purchase these seat belts can come with unique considerations for local officials due to budgetary constraints and purchasing decisions.

However, in response to the deadly New Jersey school bus crash, there are more states considering three-point seat belt laws for school buses.

In the event that your child experiences a school bus-related injury, contact a personal injury attorney at once to discuss your options. It is important that we seek justice when the responsibility to keep our children safe is not met.

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