Buckling Up on the School Bus Could Become Law

Local News

A proposed bill aims to make your child’s bus ride to school safer.

Seatbelts would be required on all new school buses in Illinois if the proposed bill becomes a law.

Three seatbelts, similar to those in your car, would be installed in each row of the bus. The goal is cutting down on injuries or deaths if the bus is involved in a crash, or if the driver has to make a fast move to avoid a crash while driving.

Many officials say the change doesn’t come cheap for school districts, many of which are already worried about paying their bills without a state budget.

Peoria Public Schools says the proposed law could cost them close to $30,000 per bus, a task that seems almost impossible since the state hasn’t been quick to pay the district, and there’s still no sign of a state budget.

“It’s clear in the legislation that it’s not, it’s not going to be reimbursable from the state, basically that money would come out of the department or out of the education fund,” said Director of Transportation, Josh Collins.

Officials say safety could increase during a crash with the change, but there are still a lot of unknowns. For example, how much responsibility a bus driver has for students who refuse to wear the belts or how fast students can be evacuated during an emergency. 

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