A U.S. Senator from Illinois is re-introducing legislation aimed at improving school bus safety ahead of students going back to school.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, along with Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, re-introduced the School Bus Safety Act to help keep students safe, while also helping to prevent accidents involving school buses.
Their legislation would implement safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board to make school buses safer by ensuring there are seat belts at every seat and buses are equipped with safety measures like stability control and automatic braking systems.
The bill would also create a grant program to help school districts modify school buses to meet these important safety modifications.
Duckworth says “no parent should have to worry about the safety of their children when they get on a school bus, but school buses often lack seat belts and other basic safety equipment that every parent demands”.
The legislation includes requirements for on-board Event Data Recorders that can record pre and post-crash data, fire suppression systems, and firewalls that prohibit hazardous quantities of gas or flame from passing into the passenger compartment.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,207 people have died in school transportation-related crashes between 2009 and 2018, which is an average of 121 people each year.