Roundup: Restrained on Restraints, A Severe Case of Duty Dereliction and More

Local support for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommendation that all school buses be equipped with seat belts has been gaining traction countrywide. The NHTSA safety belt push is a reversal from past recommendations. “We want everyone to be riding safely and securely at all times, whether they are in a car or on the school bus,” said one South Carolina program coordinator at Safe Kids Upstate. However, the seat belt requirement may be at odds with how districts want to go forward with the proposal. The South Carolina Dept. of Education, for instance, said they have no plans as of yet to install seat belts on buses. “We always follow state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to school bus safety. Our number one priority is to keep our children safe and we'll work with state lawmakers and buses that meet all the safety standards,” the district said in a statement. Administrators cite a number of reasons to go forward with the proposal, claiming that to retrofit existing school buses with belts would be costly, with a price tag of up to $20,000 per bus. Currently, school districts are not federally required to have safety belts on school buses that weight more than 10,000 pounds GVWR, but that could soon change. 

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Roundup: A Hero Cop, an Aggressive Aide Arrested and More

An off-duty NYPD officer saved the lives a bus driver and aide, dragging them from the wreckage of a burning school bus. The bus erupted in flames after a collision with a tractor-trailer along the Long Island Expressway. The officer witnessed the accident and pulled his vehicle to the shoulder of the highway when he saw the bus engulfed in flames and smoke. He pried open the door to the bus to find the driver pinned and the aide was nowhere to be found, lost in the smoke. The officer called to the aide, telling her walk toward the sound of his voice, and met the aide halfway down the aisle. After clearing the aide to safety, the officer wrenched the driver free through the driver’s side door, rescuing him from the fiery vehicle. 

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Update: Arkansas Allows School Bus Lighting System

Despite a statement on the Gardian Angel LED website that its lighting system for the school bus loading zone had been "approved" for use in Arkansas, state director Mike Simmons told STN that Gardian Angel is only an "allowable option." 

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