by Pam Walker, Assistant Program Director
On Wednesday April 10th of this year, I had an
opportunity to testify before the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee at our State House
in Boston, in support of House Bill # 4241. What is House Bill #4241 you ask? This bill is
asking the Massachusetts Legislature to mandate a law requiring the installment and use of
3 point seatbelts (shoulder/lap belts) on all of our school buses. I felt very privileged
to be able to voice my support for school bus seatbelts and to be actually involved in
making our State government work.
Some of the facts which caused me to want to
support this Bill are as follows: Each year 1 out of every 10 school buses are involved in
crashes, in the United States the leading cause of death in children ages 4-19 is the
failure to buckle up, 63% of all children who die in crashes are unrestrained, and lastly,
three-point seatbelts would cost $3500. per bus, that's a one time charge of $3.24 per
House bill #4241 is now in the process of working
it's way through the Massachusetts legislature. This is a very lengthy and time consuming
process It would be a great help in ensuring the passage of this bill, if everyone
contacts their own local representative (it's easy just call the State House in
Boston at 617-722-2800 and ask for his/her office) and expresses your voice of support.
We all know the devastation and tragedy caused by suffering a traumatic brain injury. One of the simple answers to decreasing the numbers of these injuries is to put our kids in buses which offer the greatest protection possible. 3 point seatbelts will protect our children and save our tax dollars.
If you would like more information on 3 point seatbelts, there is a website that can help.
You can log on to www.busbelts.com for studies, statistics and the latest updates.
1. National Safety Council
2. National Transportation Safety Board
3. Busbelts Development, LLC
Revised: February 23, 2002