WASHINGTON (KFVS) - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09) have introduced the School Bus Safety Act as Illinois students are returning to school for the new year.
The legislation is designed to help keep students safe as they travel to and from school while also helping prevent accidents involving school buses, according to Duckworth.
The legislation would implement safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to make school buses safer by ensuring there are seat belts at every seat and buses are equipped with safety measures like stability control and automatic braking systems.
The School Bus Safety Act would require the Department of Transportation issue rules requiring all school buses include:
- A 3-point safety belt, which includes a seat belt across a lap as well as a shoulder harness to help protect passengers by restraining them in case of a collision.
- An Automatic Emergency Braking System, which helps prevent accidents and crashes by detecting objects or vehicles ahead of the bus and braking automatically.
- An Event Data Recorder (EDR) that can record pre- and post-crash data, driver inputs, and restraint usage and when a collision does occur.
- An Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System that will use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to assist the driver remain in control of the vehicle.
A grant program would also be designed to help school districts modify school buses to meet these important safety modifications.