Sen. Tim Cullen is circulating legislation to make seat belts mandatory on all newly purchased school buses.
The bill is similar to a policy he ushered in while a member of the Janesville School Board. Today, Janesville is the only school district in Wisconsin that requires the use of a seat belt on school buses.
"The fact that we are required to wear seat belts in cars, yet allow our children to roll down the road at 55 mph without them is completely outrageous to me" Cullen says.
Cullen cited an incident at the beginning of the school year here in the Stateline. An accident involving a car vs. school bus in Rockton sent five kids to the hospital, that bus was equipped with seat belts, and thanks to that fact no one was seriously hurt. "Schoolchildren are injured every year in school bus crashes. It only makes sense to me that we can prevent more injuries by requiring seat belts, especially three-point lap and shoulder safety belts that are required in cars."
The bill won't require school buses already operating to be retrofitted with seat belts. It also creates a grant program to help school districts defray the cost of equipping new school buses with seat belts.