Rhode Island Bill Would Require School Bus Seat Belts

January 9, 2017

A Rhode Island lawmaker has introduced legislation that would put seat belts in school buses.

Coventry Republican Rep. Robert Nardolillo introduced the bill Friday to require a three-point seat belt for every passenger starting in 2019.

This is the third year he’s sought to require seat belts on newly acquired school buses. A Nov. 21 school bus crash that killed five children in Tennessee has revived a debate about bus safety.

Nardolillo’s bipartisan bill has four Democratic co-sponsors.

Only six states mandate seat belts on large buses. Others have considered but dropped legislation in recent years out of concerns including cost – estimated at around $7,000 to $10,000 per bus.

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month re-emphasized the agency’s call for school bus seat belts.

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