Pembroke Hill School adds seatbelts to its bus fleet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Nationwide, 23 million students ride school buses every day, but according the National Transportation and Highway Safety Administration, seatbelts are not necessary on large school buses.

Doctor Steve Bellis is the head of schools at Pembroke Hill. In August of last year, 22 of their students were hurt in a roll over school bus accident on the first day of school. For the start of the 2014 school year, all Pembroke students will be required to wear seatbelts while riding on school buses. The school bought four new buses that will be equipped with three point safety restraints.

"Every one of our students when they go anywhere on a school bus, it will be a bus outfitted with these seat belts and our expectation is that every student will be buckled up every time that bus in moving," Bellis said.

Large school buses with seat belts are not typical for schools in Missouri. In 2005, two motorists were killed and 23 students were injured in a Liberty school bus crash.

A Liberty School district spokesperson told 41 Action News that none of their regular transit buses have been outfitted with seat belts.

According to Midwest Bus Sales, the company manufacturing the buses equipped with seatbelts, the average cost of adding seatbelts to a new school bus is around $8,000 and the cost of the units ordered for Pembroke Hill was $90,000-$100,000 each; seat belts included.

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