Illinois senator & Champaign schools team up to promote school bus safety | Top Stories | #schoolsaftey

Illinios Senator Tammy Duckworth is reintroducing a bill to require seat belts and other safety equipment on all buses. 

“When I was serving our country in Iraq, I wore full safety gear. My helmet, my 5-point harness seatbelt, along with my training and equipment, is what saved my life,” Senator Duckworth explained.

Now, she’s working to ensure every child has a seat belt when they get on their school bus each morning.

“In Ohio, 1 elementary school student was killed and other 23 injured after their school bus was hit and overturned on the very first day of school,” Senator Duckworth added.

She said over the past decade, 42 kids have died in school bus accidents.

“Any fatality or serious injury is one too many when we have proven, affordable technologies available today that can prevent such a tragedy,” Senator Duckworth said.

Her bill calls for three-point seat belts, automatic emergency braking, data recorders and fire suppression systems- as well as increased training for drivers.

“Yellow bus drivers go through rigorous training to keep their skills sharpened. They drive routes that cover more than 80 square miles accumulating 720,000 miles annually,” Dr. Shelia Boozer, Superintendent for Unit 4 Schools, said.

Unit 4 is taking their own steps to keep students safe- introducing a Traversa 360 App this year for parents to track student’s buses live.

“And as an added layer of protection, students are now scanned on and off the bus using an ID card. This ensures that they are on the correct bus going to the correction location,” Dr. Boozer said.

Senator Duckworth is asking school district to start implementing safety measures before it is required by law. The National Sheriffs Association has now signed-on to support the bill.

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