The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking to conduct discussions and informal interviews to identify school districts that have implemented seat belts on school buses, and to gather information to understand the states' and local agencies' decisions to implement seat
belts on school buses and the funding mechanisms that are used to pay for seat-belt installation.
The findings will be used to develop a model policy and a best practices guide to assist jurisdictions that are considering the use of seat belts on school buses. NHTSA also proposes to conduct a web-based survey to gather information about bus driver distraction as related to student behavior and seat belt use to see if the use of seat belts has influenced disruptive behavior.
NHTSA expects to distribute the survey to at least one bus driver in each of the school districts that participate in the aforementioned interviews, but hopes to collect surveys from more than one driver in each of those school districts. The survey will not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Follow-up telephone discussions may also be conducted depending on the interest of respondents in providing additional information.
NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind stated, ``NHTSA has not always spoken with a clear voice on the issue of seat belts on school buses. So let me clear up any ambiguity now: The position of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that seat belts save lives. That is true whether in a passenger car or in a big yellow bus. And saving lives is what we are about. So NHTSA's policy is that every child on every school bus should have a three-point seat belt. NHTSA will seek to use all the tools at our disposal to help achieve that goal.”