New rule mandates seatbelts on school buses

    The wheels on the bus go round and round, but their passengers will soon be much more stationary.

    The Iowa State Board of Education has adopted a new state administrative rule that will require all new school buses manufactured after October 2 to be fitted with shoulder-to-lap seatbelts.

    "While school buses are built to keep students safe, lap-shoulder seatbelts provide greater protection against injuries in the rare event of an accident," said Brooke Axiotis, president of the State Board of Education in a release. "Through this approach, we are doing more to protect Iowa students while allowing schools to phase in seatbelts in a way that makes sense for them financially."

    Installing seatbelts to a school bus comes at a cost, adding roughly $8,000 to the cost. Generally the price of a new bus currently ranges between $90,000 and $100,000. Since the requirement only applies to newly manufactured buses, school districts will be able to adjust to the increased expense as they gradually replace old busses with new ones.

For the full story, see the August 8th edition of the Monitor.