BY: Citizens Count
HB 196, a bill sponsored by Rep. Mariellen MacKay, would establish a joint legislative committee charged with studying whether NH should require passengers on school buses to wear seat belts.
Right now just six states require seatbelts on school buses: California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
However, in November 2015 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted the position that every school bus should have three-point seatbelts.
Supporters argue that seatbelts reduce the chance of fatalities in school bus crashes. They point to the recent school bus crash in Chattanooga that killed five children.
Opponents note that children are already much safer in school buses than in cars, due to the size and design of school buses. There is also concern that children might have trouble removing a seatbelt during an emergency evacuation.
The Christian Science Monitor reports it would cost at least $7,000 to retrofit a school bus with seatbelts.
Do you think New Hampshire should require passengers on school buses to wear seat belts? Leave a comment to join the discussion.
UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.