The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says school buses should have seat belts, but in Washington and many other states, they are not required.
Washington State Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, says she has been working with the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction over the past year to come up with a plan for installing seat belts in school buses.
Her proposal, which she says she will introduce during the next legislative session, calls for districts to install cameras on buses, to catch drivers who break the law by passing school buses that are stopped and flashing red lights.
The revenues from those tickets would help pay for seatbelts, starting in 2018, McCabe said.
“It’s incredible how much money we could make off of something that is the number one concern of our bus drivers,” McCabe said, Tuesday.
The National Safety Council, which recommends seat belts, says school buses are still the safest mode of transportation for students, with or without belts.
McCabe’s plan calls for three-point seat belts, with a shoulder strap, similar to what’s installed in passenger cars.