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Vote On Seat Belt Resolution Delayed

Posted: 7:17 PM, Dec 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-07 01:23:22Z

The Metro Council's Education Committee delayed a vote on a resolution requesting the Metro School Board put seat belts on all new school buses.

Committee members asked the sponsor to change some of the wording after voicing concerns about the resolution.
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Sponsor Karen Y. Johnson said she would defer the vote, but still plans to move forward with a resolution involving seat belts on school buses at a future meeting.
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A resolution is non-binding and cannot be enforced.
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Johnson's resolution requested that the school board "require that all buses nearing mandatory replacement age, or otherwise requiring replacement, be replaced with buses equipped with seat belts."
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Metro replaces school buses at least every 17 years.
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Metro School Board Chair Anna Shepherd said the board had been following the resolution and supports putting seat belts on school buses.
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"I don't think any price is too much for the safety of our children," Shepherd said.
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Council woman Johnson's resolution cited federal regulators who now say seat belts should be in all school buses because they best protect children in roll over crashes like the one that killed six children in Chattanooga.
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School officials estimate seat belts would add $12,000 to cost of each new bus.
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School officials also said Metro will need to buy more buses because fewer children can sit on buses with seat belts.
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And officials pointed out that every bus costs Metro $40,000 to 50,000 to operate each year.
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"I know the Metro Council realizes they are our funding source, so I know they realize seat belts come with a price tag," Shepherd said.

Vice Chair of the Education Committee, David Rosenberg said there is support for a resolution involving seat belts on school buses.
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Other members of the Education Committee said they would prefer a resolution encouraging the school board to come up with its own plan.