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H.R. 2792: Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards Act of 2019


The text of the bill below is as of May 16, 2019 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Should all school buses have seat belts?

Context

A May 2018 school bus crash in New Jersey tragically killed 10-year-old Miranda Vargas and middle school teacher Jennifer Williamson. The bus collided with a dump truck en route to a student field trip, and the 77-year-old bus driver was subsequently charged with two counts of vehicular homicide.

Since then, victim Vargas’s father Joevanny Vargas successfully pushed New Jersey to require three-point seat belts — featuring both lap and shoulder belts — on school buses. Only eight states currently have the mandate, although they span the political spectrum and include all of the four most populous states: Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New ...


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2792

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 16, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Reed, and Ms. Stefanik) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Transportation to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning seat belts on school buses, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Secure Every Child Under the Right Equipment Standards Act of 2019 or the SECURES Act of 2019.

2.

Proposed rulemaking

(a)

Requirements

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking on new Federal standards for school bus seat belt requirements on all school buses, regardless of gross vehicle weight rating.

(b)

Considerations

In the proposed rulemaking, the Secretary shall consider—

(1)

the safety benefits of a lap/shoulder belt system (also known as a Type 2 seat belt assembly);

(2)

the conclusion of the National Transportation Safety Board that Lap/shoulder belts provide the highest level of protection for school bus passengers and that Properly worn lap belts provide some benefit, while Properly worn lap/shoulder belts provide greater benefit by reducing injuries related to upper body flailing;

(3)

the 2015 announcement by the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Mark Rosekind, stating that the agency believes that every child on every school bus should have a three-point seat belt;

(4)

any innovative approaches to seat belt detection, seat belt reminder systems, and seat belt violation alert systems that could be incorporated into school bus designs; and

(5)

existing experience from the States that have already required school buses to be equipped with seat belts.