NC County to Take Part in School Bus Seat Belt Pilot Program

North Carolina will equip seven Burke County school buses with lap and shoulder belts next school year, as reported by

The seat belts will add up to $12,000 to the $83,000 price tag of a new bus, but the state is picking up the tab.

"We jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this new initiative because this is a big deal,” said BCPS Superintendent Larry Putnam. “In keeping student safety at the forefront of all that we do, we want to be on the front end of this new movement as it progresses across the state.”

The goal of the voluntary pilot project, which includes 14 other school districts, is to help policy-makers evaluate future, widespread use of seat belts on North Carolina public school buses.

“In the rare instance that a bus is involved in a roll-over accident, the seat belts will keep students from being tossed around,” he said.