Sen. Greg Razer introduced a bill this month to establish the “Joint Task Force on School Bus Safety” that would convene three times annually to study school bus transportation safety in public schools.
The task force, as outlined in SB 609, would consist of two members from the House of Representatives, two members of the Senate, the commissioner of education or a designee, the director of the department of transportation or a designee, and the director of the department of public safety or a designee.
Within 30 days of the task force’s creation, members shall meet to organize and select a member to serve as the chair, the bill states.
“It’s important to remember that the first seat many Missouri students take at the start of their school day is not in the classroom, but on the school bus,” Razer said via a press release. “If we expect students to arrive in the classroom ready to learn, we need to ensure they arrive there safely first. I believe this task force will provide the focus and expertise needed to improve school bus safety and better help all students get to school safely each and every day.”
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If passed, beginning next January task force members are expected to meet at least three times a year and develop an annual report analyzing school bus transportation safety on topics such as entrance and exit safety, as well as the effectiveness of seatbelts, and other school bus-related safety issues deemed necessary by the chair.
The report is to be sent to the governor and general assembly by the end of December each year.