Governor Signs School Bus Seat Belt Bill Into Law
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that could require all new school buses to be equipped with seat belts, and will enforce the use of seat belts on school buses that are outfitted with the restraints.
Hutchinson signed House Bill 1002 into law on Tuesday (March 7). If 10 percent of a school district’s electors sign a petition asking for the district to outfit its buses with seat belts, the district must propose a levy to pay for the cost of purchasing and installing the restraints.Then voters in the school district would have to vote on the issue during the next annual school election.
The bill will require all new or leased buses purchased after Jan. 1, 2018, to be equipped with seat belts, if the district votes to approve funding. The seat belts must be in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
School districts can use disciplinary measures to enforce the use of seat belts on school buses. However, students who have disabilities that do not allow them to use the restraints are excused from doing so.