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NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), pursuant to FMVSS No. 222, presently requires lap belts only on small school buses (less than 10,000# GVW) and requires no seat belts of any kind on large school buses (the kind you are used to seeing transport our children). NHTSA continues to rely on an outdated, ineffective 40 year-old seat standard known as "compartmentalization" which even its sister agency, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has determined was "incomplete" in 1999.
In October 2008, NHTSA revised FMVSS No. 222 making "three-point" lap-shoulder seat belts mandatory for small school buses manufactured after 2011. Despite acknowledging that a lap-shoulder belt system, together with compartmentalization, would afford optimum passenger crash protection to an individual passenger on a large school bus, NHTSA failed to implement a rule mandating them on large buses. Instead, NHTSA punted the decision to "state and local jurisdictions." As such, the fight to protect our kids on school buses is ongoing at the state level.
California was the first State to require lap-shoulder seatbelts on new school buses beginning 2005.
Texas passed Ashley and Alicia's Law in 2007 mandating lap-shoulder seat belts in new school buses beginning September 1, 2010. Learn more about Texas Legislative Efforts
Colorado legislation is pending
Nebraska legislation is pending
Wyoming legislation is pending
Arkansas legislation is pending
New York, New Jersey and Florida have required lap belts on large school buses since the 1990's.
If you have updates regarding action in your state, please contact us.