The author of legislation progressing in the Tennessee General Assembly to require the installation of lap-shoulder seat belts on school buses has pulled the bill for a year.
A message left with the office of Rep. Joann Favors, the bill’s author, had yet to be returned at this report. But a legislative note indicated that HB 395 was removed from the legislative calendar on Monday, five days after it was scheduled for a hearing in the Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee.
A fiscal estimate filed in March put the cost of adding lap-shoulder belts at an incremental cost of $10,000 per bus. This figure would contributed to increased state expenditures each year of about $12 million for fiscal year 2018-2019 through fiscal year 2022-2023.
If passed in the full assembly, HB 395 would have required all school buses purchased after July 1, 2018 to be equipped with “a restraint system” as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has long been a proponent of lap-shoulder seat belts.
School districts would have also had until July 1, 2023 to retrofit any legacy school buses on the road with three-point seat belts.