The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking for school districts who will install seatbelts in their school buses as part of a five-year safety study.
The NHTSA issued a “Request for Proposals” on March 30, 2018 seeking responses by the end of April. The agency will choose a contractor and study the indirect effects of three-point seatbelts on student safety and behavior.
The project arose from school district feedback during a roundtable discussion hosted by then-Administrator Mark Rosekind in January 2016.
Ryan Gray with School Transportation News said several local transportation officials told him lap-shoulder seatbelt use improved student behavior and limited driver distraction.
Rosekind announced at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit in November 2015 all school buses should be equipped with lap-shoulder belts, but stopped short of calling for new rules or federal legislation. He instead encouraged all school districts to implement the safety belts or for states to enact laws.
“School buses should have three-point seatbelts. Period,” Rosekind said.
NHTSA Highway Safety Specialist Jeremy Gunderson told National Association for State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conference attendees in Columbus, Ohio that the agency will use the study to correct misinformation regarding the seatbelt issue.
The project will first identify existing research on how lap-shoulder belts can improve student bus behavior, notably by keeping them seated facing forward. The agency will then contact school districts already planning to install lap-shoulder belts to monitor their effects.
“This will ensure a baseline measure of possible indirect effects is captured,” NHTSA writes in the request for proposals. “This project would also require that the selected jurisdiction plan to implement an education component for bus drivers, students, parents, teachers and other school officials to emphasize the importance of using seat belts on school buses.”
The chosen contractor must identify and analyze existing research or the evaluated, indirect effects of lap-shoulder belts as well as collect and analyze data from school districts participating in the study.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.