Local schools adding seat belts to school buses

Most school buses in Indiana don't have seat belts because they are not required by law.

Posted: May 18, 2018 9:36 PM
Updated: May 18, 2018 10:18 PM

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - Safety is a top priority for school district across the region, that includes getting to and from schools.

Northwest Allen County Schools is looking at making changes to their school buses to protect your child by adding seat belts to school buses.

Most school buses in Indiana don't have seat belts because they are not required by law.

"I know as a parent you want to make sure your kids are always in the best situation," said Emily Hinton.

NACS board members will decide Monday whether or not to install seat belts on some of their school buses.

"Safety is number one. Obviously it costs money and you have to take that into consideration, but the safety of the kids most important," said Hinton.

She said the belts could help keep kids in check while riding the bus.

"Having them in their seat belts, they are not tempted to move seats or when the bus driver is driving, can't keep an eye on them the back, they are going to stay put," said Hinton.

NACS spokeswoman Lizette Downey said the decision to retrofit the buses came down to safety.

"It ultimately is in the best interest of the children to be secured more times than not," said Downey.

Two people were killed, a child and a teacher, when a school bus was involved in a crash with a dump truck in New Jersey Thursday.

That bus was equipped with seat belts.

"Having that measure available at least adds the opportunity to increase or enhance safety versus not having them on at all," said Downey.

If the board approves the seatbelts, all buses in NACS will have seat belts in six years.

They will continue installing the new seats, plus buying buses with the belts during its normal bus replacement process.

Fort Wayne Community Schools is also investing in seat belts on their buses.

The new buses that are coming in for next school year will have them on.

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