Buckle Talk in Jefferson City

1 decade 2 years 10 months ago Tuesday, November 22 2005 Nov 22, 2005 Tuesday, November 22, 2005 8:24:29 AM CST November 22, 2005 in News

Bobbi Rhodes may be pick her son Alex up from school these days. But if he was taking the bus home, she'd want him fastened in by a seat belt.

"Well I personally think all buses should have seat belts because they made it law for all vehicles to have seat belts and it is a safety issue," Rhodes said.

Governor Matt Blunt's proposal to outfit all new school buses with seat belts prompted the Jefferson City Board of Education to consider the costs of adding seat belts to old buses too.

"You would almost assume that folks are not going to stand still for having one third or one half of your buses with seat belts and the other half not, that just doesn't play very well," Assistant Superintendent Dr. Turner Tyson said.

It's a plan parents support.

"If this is going to be passed and the new school buses are going to have it I feel strongly that the older school buses should be retro-fitted with it. I don't necessarily think I'd be up in arms and throw a fit about it, but yeah I'd like to see that my child was safe too just because she was on the old school bus I'd like her to be safe," said parent Gabrielle Wittenberger.

Tyson says the proposal presented to the board of education anticipated the cost of adding seat belts to all old busses... Which could run upwards of $1 million.

If the old school buses have to be outfitted with seat belts as well, the buses will lose a third of their seating capacity since only two children will be able to ride per seat. And losing seating could force the district to buy more buses.

For now the Jefferson City School Board is waiting. The legislature could still amend the governor's proposal to include existing school buses.

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