Fayetteville School District Now Has Buses With Seat Belts

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Ten of the Fayetteville School District’s 56 buses now have seat belts.

“We felt like from a safety standpoint for our students, it's an added bonus,” said Mike McClure, assistant director of transportation services for the Fayetteville School District.

McClure said the 10 new buses replaced the older ones in the fleet, and every elementary school has at least one of the new buses on their route.

“It helps with the student management issues we might have if students are sitting in their seat buckled up not moving around, not bothering other students,” he said.

McClure said with these three-point harness belts versus the old lap belts, kids can't swing them around because they are retractable.

If the district votes to approve the funding, all new or leased buses must be equipped with seat belts by Jan. 1.

“As a child, I grew up riding the bus and you never know what could happen," said Secrete Smith, the mother of a student at Butterfield Trail Elementary. "There could be an accident and the bus could flip over. I feel more comfortable with them being in a seat belt."

Butterfield Trail Elementary parent Kristina Ward said she had no idea some of the buses had seat belts until her daughter came home from a field trip and told her she buckled up.

“With all the accidents of buses getting hit by cars and crashing into houses and buildings, knowing your kid is actually buckled, it makes parents feel a lot safer,” Ward said.

The new 10 buses also have camera systems. The cost of the cameras plus the seat belts adds around $10,000 for each bus.

The funding for these came from savings thanks to the school board and superintendent.