Lawmakers Get Peek at School Bus with Seat Belts - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Lawmakers Get Peek at School Bus with Seat Belts

(Story created: 2/15/06)

An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has lawmakers looking at whether your children should have seat belts on their school buses.

Wednesday, they got a chance to step aboard just such a bus.

This one is being used by Manchester city schools not only for special needs students, but also for after-school events.

School officials told lawmakers that students are better behaved when they're buckled up.

"They'll get in and they'll buckle their seat belt, just as standard practice -- hopefully, like you'll do when you get in your car," said Dr. Prater Power, the director of schools.

"So it's something that can be trained to be done, and it shouldn't be a big issue."

State Rep. Ben West, D-Nashville, has filed a bill to require seat belts on new buses.

"I've been receiving -- and will receive more from parents -- emails, stopping you on the street, telephone calls, saying, 'Yes we need this,'" West said.

Some school transportation officials oppose West's bill.

Below is information on how you can contact lawmakers to let them know how you feel.

More information:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration position paper -- Defends compartmentalization (the current safety standard)
NHTSA's Report to Congress -- Finds some potential benefits to lap-shoulder belts
National Transportation Safety Board study -- Finds compartmentalization "incomplete"
NTSB investigation -- Report of bus-train collision reaffirms limits of compartmentalization
School Transportation News -- Analysis of seat belt debate
National Coalition for School Bus Safety -- Position of advocacy group
Safeguard -- Web site of seat belt developer
State of Missouri -- Gov. Matt Blunt pushes lap-shoulder belt on new buses

Contact the governor
Contact state senators
Contact state representatives

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