The Governor’s School Bus Safety Task Force has practically wrapped up its work on a report designed to help make school buses safer. A draft version of the report was agreed upon, and members will next vote on a final version of the report due to the Governor by the time schools start. The most debated issue during the summer-long process was safety belts. While the task force agreed lap-only belts should not be in buses, they recommended schools consider lap-shoulder belts in any new buses they acquire. Chairman of the group, Public Safety Director Mark James, admits it’s short of a mandate. James believes if school districts heed the Task Force’s suggestions now, they might be in better shape should lap-shoulder belts become mandatory. Another sticky issue for the task force was how to pay for any of the recommendations it made. Without getting into specifics, members are putting language in the report that says there needs to be adequate funding for any recommendations made.
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