Should school buses have seat belts? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Should school buses have seat belts?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

The story about the bus crash in Chattanooga, TN is horrifying, and it’s bringing up the debate about seat belts on school buses.

Washington and Idaho are among 44 states that don’t require seat belts on buses. The American School Bus Council says school buses are the safest way to transport kids. There’s a design that’s required called “compartmentalization.” The seats are placed closer together with energy-absorbing seat backs and that’s designed to protect kids while they’re transported.

But the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is now endorsing seat belts on school buses.

Washington State Senator Michael Baumgartner says he had been speaking with his wife about this very topic when his oldest child went on a field trip for the first time. Now, he says he’s going to see what can be done about this issue.

But there’s another side of the argument. Some say the costs would be too much and others worry about the safety if students can’t get their seat belt undone after a crash.

But Baumgartner says this is a common sense issue. He’s going to propose a bill that would make seat belts on buses a requirement.

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