Perry signs seat belt usage law
Big Thicket Messenger - July 2007
Governor Rick Perry signed into law House Bill 323 on June 8, requiring school buses to have lap shoulder, or ‘three point’ seat belts in each seat for the safety of students. State lawmakers and families of the students involved in the West Brook High School bus joined the Governor crash in 2006.
“This legislation will not only save lives, it will give parents peace of mind every morning their children leave home for school and climb aboard a school bus,” said Perry. “Putting seat belts on school buses will give parents greater assurance that their precious children will be safer when they are out of their sight and not under their control.”
HB 323 aims to prevent injuries by requiring school buses or buses chartered by schools to be equipped with a ‘three point’ seat belt. The bill includes provisions stating:
‘Three point’ seat belts must be present in all school buses purchased by a school district after September 1, 2010. Charter buses used by school districts to transport students must be equipped with seat belts beginning September 1, 2011.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) must develop a training program for all districts regarding proper use of the ‘three point’ seat belts. The SBOE will also serve as a statewide clearing-house for best practices in school bus safety.
Seat belts must be worn by students and the bus driver when present on bus transporting students effective immediately.
Two students were killed in a school bus that was carrying the West Brook High School girl’s soccer team to a competition. Several others were injured and transported in March 2006.
HB 323 takes effective this year on September 1.