Charles City, Iowa – Last week the state department of education gave preliminary approval to make it mandatory for school buses to have lap-shoulder belts and now a Northeast Iowa school district will implement them in the next decade.
Charles City Transportation Director Jerry Mitchell tells North Iowa News all buses will be equipped by 2026-2027 as the school follows bus purchasing method.
He says he was opposed to lap-shoulder belts but after recent studies, he’s supporting them because they increase student safety.
Another concern, Mitchell says, is the option for students to be able to walk around on the bus while it’s in motion.
Adding seats that have lap-shoulder belts to new buses would be $8,400 according to Mitchell. Retrofitting old school buses would be three times as much.
A new 72-seat bus with lap-shoulder belts cost approximately $100,000.
The district has a 20-seat lift bus with lap should belts now.