School buses across Illinois could soon come equipped with seat belts after the Illinois Secretary of State announced his support for legislation, which would make them mandatory.
Illinois’ Secretary of State Jesse White is pushing for legislation to put seat belts on school buses.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put its support behind a proposal to install 3 point belts, which is a belt that goes across your lap and one over the shoulder.
Dave Druker, press secretary for Secretary of State’s office, said this new measure is an improvement.
“The feeling here is that the technology has improved these things. You don’t have the issue that had been raised in the past about seatbelt on buses with kids. That they weren’t as safe as seatbelts in automobiles.”
This comes two weeks after a school bus crash in Ohio. An SUV crashed into a bus, forcing it to roll over. Two people were hurt on the bus and including one student.
“Our feeling is that driving children is just a much higher calling, than just driving cargo or something of that nature,” said Press Secretary Druker.
Freeport public school buses have been using seatbelts for years. Transportation Director, Dallas Pieper said it’s a smart step forward.
“Just this past summer, we got seven buses that have the shoulder belts included and we’ve seen great, great things.” said Pieper.
However, those against a seat belt law say if there’s an accident, the children will not be able to quickly get out. Pieper argues that the benefits outweigh the risk.
“So seatbelts are going to keep them more secure in their seats. School buses are already the safest form of transportation so the seat belts are just going to add another layer to that,” Pieper said.