Seat Belt Debate in Bus Accident

7 years 10 months 1 week ago Sunday, August 15 2010 Aug 15, 2010 Sunday, August 15, 2010 3:45:23 PM CDT August 15, 2010 in News

JEFFERSON CITY - Federal safety officials investigating a fatal school bus accident are looking at whether seat belts could have helped. But Missouri officials already recommended seat belts for the state's fleet five years ago.

A state task force in 2005 suggested that school districts consider buses with factory-installed lap and shoulder harness seat belts. The governor said he would work to require the seat belts in newly purchased buses, and lawmakers considered the idea.

But the issue lost traction until the bus accident this month on Interstate 44 killed two people.

Some advocates say buses already are the safest way to transport children, but that seat belts can make them even safer. The biggest concerns against them are cost and reducing capacity of the buses.

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