Measure follows new guidance from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
All new school buses purchased by the Houston Independent School District will include three-point seatbelts, effective immediately.
The HISD Transportation Department made the recommendation last week, just days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided new guidance on the issue, updating their position to suggest that students should have access to three-point seatbelts.
The recommendation was approved by HISD administration on Tuesday, making HISD the first district in the city and among the first in the state to implement such a measure. HISD maintains a fleet of about 1,100 school buses.
“Safety always comes first — above all else,” Superintendent Terry Grier said. “School buses are already one of the safest modes of transportation available to students. If the NHTSA believes three-point seatbelts will make our students even safer, we will absolutely act on it.”
The decision drew praise from district bus drivers.
“I want to commend the district for listening to the experts, as well as bus drivers and bus attendants, and making a decision that is in the best interest of children,” said Houston Education Support Personnel Union President Wretha Thomas, who represents HISD bus drivers and attendants.