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Florida law requires lap belts on school buses

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Updated: 7/25/2013 7:58 pm
WASHINGTON, DC -- Lap belts are now required in the state of Florida.

The National Transportation Safety Board met in Washington to release findings about two school bus wrecks and offer new safety recommendations.

Board members watched an animation showing an 11-year-old girl thrown out of her seat after a dump truck collided with her bus in New Jersey.

She was killed when the bus spun around, hitting a pole and throwing her again.

Federal investigators found she wasn't buckled up even though New Jersey requires school buses have lap belts.

The safety board said shoulder and lap belts on buses keep kids safe. But the board stopped short of a recommendation to require them.

Seat belts on school buses used to be on the accident investigators most-wanted list, but not anymore.

Action News asked the chairwoman why.

"This is safe mode transportation. It is very important mode of transportation. Can it be made safer? Yes, but we don't see these crashes often," said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman.

At the meeting, the NTSB unanimously voted to recommend additional training for students, parents and bus drivers to make sure seat belts are worn properly. It can cost thousands of dollars to add belts to buses, an expense the chairwoman told Action News some districts just can't afford right now.

The NTSB also recommends the government set performance standards for new safety technology that allow cars and trucks to talk to each other and then require the technology to installed in all new vehicles.
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