The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to discuss the challenges and barriers preventing school districts from installing three-point seat belts on school buses later this month in Washington, D.C.
On July 23, an informal meeting conducted by the NHTSA will examine the current status of occupant protection technology on school buses, identify operational challenges and explore new approaches for funding.
The discussion will also explore the issue of seating capacity loss, which has prevented states and school districts from considering three-point belt systems as an option in the past. Communication strategies to reach parents and children and new training programs that may be needed for bus drivers and students are also slated for the conversation.
Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been invited to present findings and recommendations from investigations of school bus crashes.
Representatives from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) will round out the discussion by providing further detail into topic by outlining key points from a February 2014 NASDPTS paper titled, “The Equipping and Use of Passenger Lap/Shoulder Belts in School Buses.”
“We are excited about what we may learn from this important meeting,” said Charlie Hood, executive director of the NASDPTS.
NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind will open the meeting that will be webcast at www.nhtsa.gov from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2015.