New push to install seatbelts on school buses
There's a new push to install seatbelts on school buses across the country.
The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) is recommending all new school buses come with three-point seatbelts.
"We believe in it. We believe it is the next step. We believe it is going to happen," said Kellie Dean, Dean Transportation CEO.
Dean Transportation hauls students in nearly 150 school districts across Michigan.
Dean said even though school buses are statistically the safest way to and from school, there's always room for improvement.
"There have been improvements and improvements every year with greater evacuation," he said.
NASDPTS President Mike LaRocco said the organization has previously supported seat belts on buses, only if funding was available.
Now, LaRocco said adding seatbelts is too important to wait for that extra funding.
"We see that lap-shoulder belts adds a very significant increase in the safety aspect of that school bus," said LaRocco.
Funding is a big reason why there aren't already seatbelts on school buses in Michigan.
Dean said it will cost about an extra $10,000 per bus.
Thanks to coronavirus budget shortfalls, he said it might take a few more years to become reality.
"There's definitely a true shortage of dollars through our state aid to be able to be able to support just the classroom," Dean said.
The Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation told News 10 it would rather see the money go toward bus safety technology, like stability control and brake assist.
You can read the NASDPTS recommendation letter