The beginning of September brought a number of new laws to Texas, including one which addresses student safety on public school buses.
The state passed a law which would require new school buses to have safety belts on each of its seats.
Roger Garcia, the Transportation Director with SAISD, says people were concerned about the lack of seat belts because in the case of a rollover accident, seats set up to normally protect students wouldn’t be able to do so.
He says adding these seat belts will add another layer of safety to a bus ride, but also comes with negatives as the Transportation Department will not only have to consider an increase in expenditures for staff, equipment and fuel usage, but also will have to consider lowering the capacity of students allowed on these buses.
Garcia says the school would be lucky to fit 2 high schoolers to one school bus seat given each seat is supposed to have three seat belts attached to them.
SAISD has already set a budget for these changes, and pending approval will have seat-belt equipped school buses arriving as early as January.
Enforcing the wearing of these seat belts will be the drivers who will notify the principal of a student’s respective school if a student is caught not wearing a seat belt.
Garcia says the principal will then notify the parents of the issue.